L. Offeddu writes for Il Corriere della Sera about the case of Tymoshenko that is creating tension just a few weeks before the European football Championship of 2012.
Yulia Tymoshenko was the Prime Minister of Ukraine in 2005 and from 2007 to 2010, and the protagonist of the Orange Revolution that showed a lot of claims for more democracy in the country. She was the Prime Minister when the organization of the European Football Championship was awarded by Ukraine (and Poland). However, today we find a country which is far from the period of the Orange Revolution: the hopes that were generated were not realized. The actual President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych, who defeated Tymoshenko during the elections of 2010, has to deal with a lot of problems during these days. Cases of corruption and abuse of office opened against Tymoshenko in 2010 and she was subsequently arrested; photos which show the suffering and bruises she acquired from prison are now circulating.
Offeddu stresses that many European leaders have expressed their concern of the situation. Governments of Austria and Belgium have decided to boycott Euro 2012. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stated she will take a decision at the last moment, and other representatives have shown concern.
Obviously we know that it ia not the first time that sports and politics have mixed. Yanukovych denounces “the climate of the Cold War” but there is no need to go back that far: still today many people wonder about the before and the after of Beijing 2008. A lot of promises on human rights have remained just promises.