Platini hits out at Ukraine hotel rates
LVIV, Ukraine - Agence France-Presse
UEFA President Michel Platini gives a press conference in the Arena Lviv stadium after inspecting installations in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv prior to Euro 2012. AFP photoUEFA President Michel Platini gives a press conference in the Arena Lviv stadium after inspecting installations in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv prior to Euro 2012.
UEFA chief Michel Platini yesterday accused “bandits and crooks” of hiking hotel prices in Ukraine to sky-high levels for the Euro 2012 football championships, amid growing concerns over the price of accommodation.
Platini’s alarm took some of the shine off his ceremonial opening of a brand new airport terminal in Lviv, one of the final big projects to come online in Ukraine before it jointly hosts the championships with Poland in June.
“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 on a visit to the western Ukrainian host city. “Yes, this worries me. I think that the authorities are there to make sure that things are respected,” he added.
With less than two months to go until kick-off, alarm is increasing that hoteliers in the four Ukrainian host cities are looking to take advantage of the unprecedented influx of relatively well-off foreigners.
“You can’t change (the price of a room) from 40 euros to 100 and then up to 500 just like that from one day to the other, this just is not done,” said Platini.
“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 warned.
“We promote Ukraine, we say ‘it’s great, you (Ukrainians) are kind, remarkable and sweet people and the atmosphere is going to be great’. But they are not going to be able to come as it is too expensive.”
Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Borys Kolesnikov, the government pointman on the tournament, promised to take the necessary measures “within the next 30 days” to solve the problem.