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Ian Hudghton
Scottish National Party
Member of the European Parliament

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Press Releases
31 August
SNP condemn plan for European flag at Olympics

'Let Scottish athletes compete under the Scottish flag' - Hudghton

SNP European Leader Ian Hudghton MEP has condemned plans for European countries to take part in the Olympics under the European flag as 'ludicrous and insensitive'. Instead, the Euro-MP is calling for Scottish athletes to be allowed to take part under the national flag of Scotland, starting with the next Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008.

Outgoing European Commission President Romano Prodi caused outrage when he said that athletes from European countries should take part in the Beijing Olympics carrying the European banner alongside their national flag.

Speaking from Brussels, Ian Hudghton MEP said:

"I find Mr Prodi's remarks quite ludicrous and insensitive. Our links to Europe are very important, but to suggest that we should take part in sporting events under an EU flag is taking things a bit too far.

I would like to see Scottish athletes given the chance to take part in the Beijing Games under the Scottish Saltire, just as we do at the Commonwealth Games and other events. I'm sure it would mean a lot to the athletes themselves and would do a great deal for Scotland's international profile."

Fellow SNP Euro-MP Alyn Smith MEP added:

"Aye right, he's having a laugh! Lets have a European football team while we're at it! It just demonstrates how out of touch some people are that Mr Prodi could even suggest such tosh. The vast majority of Scots identify themselves as proudly Scots rather than British, so we should have our athletes under the Saltire, same as our Rugby and Football teams do."

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