Ukraine & the European Football Championship: Foul play
Central Europe News Brief: May 2012
Hotels in the Ukraine have broken off contracts with foreign travel agencies and inflated their prices ahead of the UEFA European football championships which the country is co-hosting with Poland from 8 June to 1 July, Der Spiegel revealed.
TUI, a German travel agency, had to re-negotiate the terms for over one third of the rooms it booked in the eastern city of Kharkiv, while one TUI partner hotel in Kiev faced an armed take-over by a criminal gang which subsequently doubled room prices.
Markiyan Lubkivskiy, the government official overseeing preparations for the tournament, has voiced concerns that the price hikes may drive away visitors, telling hotel owners that "it won't work to try to make enough money for the rest of one’s life."
Corruption has also caused the costs of building stadia and transport links to soar, with Ukrainian think tank Da Vinci AG estimating the state’s expenses to reach €6 billion.