The mayor of Graz, Austria blinks first.
VIENNA, Austria - The mayor of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Austrian hometown on Tuesday begged the California governor to reconsider his decision to cut ties to the city after locals assailed him for his death penalty stance.The backpedaling is swift, no? But you know and I know that money often speaks louder than principle. Arnold kept his principles. Graz officials, not so much.
Siegfried Nagl, mayor of the southern city of Graz, said he wrote Schwarzenegger pleading with him not to return a ring of honor bestowed on him by officials in his birthplace in 1999 and reassuring him that most residents still admire him. [SNIP]
[Arnold's] demands effectively pre-empted a drive launched by opponents in Austria who already were gathering signatures on a petition calling for the 15,300-seat arena in Graz, about 120 miles south of Vienna, to be renamed.
The petition drive began last week amid a furor triggered by the execution in California of Stanley Tookie Williams. Capital punishment is illegal in Europe, where many people consider it barbaric. They are now waiting to see how Schwarzenegger deals with the scheduled Jan. 17 execution of a 75-year-old inmate.