Court Case Sparks Tabloid War Briton Gets Refund For Having too Many Germans in Hotel

First, a British court awarded a man compensation because there were too many Germans in his holiday hotel. Now, the German press is firing back -- with tips on how best to avoid the English this summer. Hint: It involves football.


A German tourist enjoys the beach in Portugal.
AP

A German tourist enjoys the beach in Portugal.

A court in Britain appears to have wounded German pride by awarding British tourist David Barnish £750 pounds (€948/$1,484) in compensation because there were too many German tourists at the Greek island hotel where he spent a family holiday last August.

Barnish had sued holiday company Thomson because it hadn't told him the Grecotel resort on the island of Kos was occupied almost exclusively by Germans -- more than 600 of them.

Only 25 of the 700 guests at the hotel were English. Barnish had paid £4,000 for the holiday. Barnich claims his family was unable to take part in entertainment or children's activities at the hotel because they were only organized in German.

Germany's tabloid newspapers were quick to respond. "They're crazy, the British" wrote Bild and Express.

Bild published a list of six resorts frequented by British tourists including Magaluf in Mallorca. "If you don't want to meet English people, avoid these places!" the newspaper warned.

To provide added incentive, it published a photo of two grinning Englishmen on holiday -- one of them tattooed, bare-chested and sporting an impressive beer gut -- with pints of beer in their fists.

Bild quoted tour operators as warning that German tourists couldn't expect similar compensation if they came across British hordes at their hotel.

Barnish told the Daily Telegraph: "I'm not racist. I wouldn't like to take my family holiday at a hotel overrun by English holidaymakers and the same would also apply if there were French or Spanish or any nationality."

"But everything from the leaflets telling you what's on in the morning to the people staying there, the language the reps spoke in and service was all in German."

Relations between British and German tourists on package holidays abroad are traditionally uneasy, partly because the Germans allegedly hog sunloungers by getting up at dawn to place their towels on them -- an age-old source of tension. Barnish said each of the unoccupied sunbeds at the hotel did indeed have a towel draped over them

German tabloid Express vented its fury with an outburst of schadenfreude, reminding readers that England had failed to qualify for the European football championship starting in Austria and Switzerland next weekend. "Dear British -- from next weekend you'll have all the beaches to yourself. We'll be at the European Championship," the newspaper wrote.

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