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World War III: revenge of the tourists -

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World War III: revenge of the tourists

The World Today - Thursday, 5 June , 2008 12:31:00

Reporter: Jennifer Macey

ELEANOR HALL: Now to the tabloid newspaper war that has broken out between Britain and Germany over
who has the worst behaved tourists.

It began when a British man was awarded more than a thousand dollars when he sued his travel
company because there were too many German tourists at a Greek island resort.

Germany's biggest selling tabloid has now retaliated by publishing its own list of tourist
destinations to avoid - ones which it claims are overrun by Brits.

Jennifer Macey has our report.

JENNIFER MACEY: One British tabloid has described it as the "Holiday from Helmut".
Forty-seven-year-old David Barnish complained that his trip to the Greek island of Kos was ruined
because all the entertainment and children's activities were in German, and a court has awarded him
?750 or more than $1500 in damages.

Dr Andrew Beattie, a lecturer in German Studies at the University of Technology Sydney says it
seems a little excessive.

ANDREW BEATTIE: I don't know whether you'd get the same complaint if things had been conducted in
the local language, Greek. But he clearly was rather miffed that it was all in German.

JENNIFER MACEY: Germany's biggest selling daily Bild has retaliated writing, "They're crazy, the
British".

The Bild has now published a black list of six resorts favoured by the poms and published alongside
are photos of two grinning Englishman with tattoos and pints of beer.

Dr Beattie says it's an age-old battle between the two nations' tabloids.

ANDREW BEATTIE: I don't know of too many other countries' tabloids who attack each other so
vigorously and with such fondness as the Germans and the British tabloids.

JENNIFER MACEY: The German tabloid quotes legal experts who warn that German tourists won't be able
to claim similar damages if they encounter British hordes at their hotels.

Ivan Pourpouras is the Marketing Manager of Aegean Tours which specialises in all-inclusive holiday
packages to Greece.

IVAN POURPOURAS: You don't want to go on holidays, come back and sue anyone. I mean it's really
pointless.

JENNIFER MACEY: Relations between British and German tourists have long been uneasy. The Germans
have a reputation for getting up at dawn to reserve the best sun lounges with their beach towels.

But Mr Pourpouras defends the Germans tourists.

IVAN POURPOURAS: They're heavy drinkers like us Australians (laughs), they like to have fun and, I
mean I don't think they're offensive or so on and so forth. And I think the comment that, you know,
the place was over run by Germans maybe is a bit of an exaggeration.

JENNIFER MACEY: German expert Dr Andrew Beattie says the tabloid war reflects an ongoing resentment
in Britain about the Second World War.

ANDREW BEATTIE: I think it is a sense that they won the war but the Germans won the peace and that
after the Second World War, of course yes Germany was divided, but at least for West German it just
developed into a prosperous western country, whereas Britain went through decolonisation, it went
from a global power to a much less of an international player. And it's a sense that their
mastership in Europe, I guess, has dwindled away while the Germans have risen from nothing in 1945
to being Europe's probably major power.

JENNIFER MACEY: But the Germans aren't taking this lying down, attacking the British were it hurts
most, over soccer.

The Bild tabloid suggests if German tourists want to avoid the British this summer they should head
to Austria and Switzerland for the European Cup because England has failed to qualify.

ELEANOR HALL: Jennifer Macey with that report.