UEFA chief hits out at Ukraine’s “bandits and crooks”
13 Apr 2012
UEFA president Michel Platini has slammed the “bandits and crooks” inflating hotel prices in Ukraine, as fears over the availability of reasonably priced accommodation for Euro 2012 grow ahead of the tournament.
Platini was speaking on Thursday at the ceremonial opening of a new airport terminal in the Ukrainian city of Lviv, one of the final major projects to be completed in the country as it prepares to co-host Euro 2012 with Poland. “It’s annoying to have made a lot of investment and then say to people that they can’t come because there are bandits and crooks who want to make a lot of money during this Euro,” Platini said, according to AFP. “Yes, this worries me. I think that the authorities are there to make sure that things are respected.”
Platini’s comments come after Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych last week ordered his government to prevent the country’s hotels from charging excessive prices for fans travelling to Euro 2012. With some Ukrainian hotels charging up to 10 times their usual rates for rooms during the tournament, Yanukovych instructed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure, Borys Kolesnikov, and Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Petro Poroshenko, to take measures to bring hotel prices to an “economically reasonable” level. “You can’t change (the price of a room) from Eur40 to Eur100 and then up to Eur500 just like that from one day to the other, this just is not done,” said Platini.
AFP reports that the problem is particularly severe in the city of Donetsk where a hotel near the stadium is charging Eur3,600 to stay on the night of the June 27 semi-final, 85 times its non-tournament rate of Eur42. Kolesnikov has promised to take the necessary action within 30 days, but Platini indicated that Ukrainian hoteliers are failing to respect contracts for rooms made before the tournament. “I hope for your sake (Ukraine) that the contracts which hoteliers have made will be respected as otherwise the people are not going to come,” he added.