• Germany edition
 
TUI asks Greek hotels to promise to take drachma in the worst case
Photo: DPA

TUI asks Greek hotels to promise to take drachma in the worst case

Published: 05 Nov 2011 12:20 GMT+01:00
Updated: 05 Nov 2011 12:20 GMT+01:00

German tour operator TUI has reportedly infuriated Greek hoteliers by asking them to agree to accept payment in drachma should debt-ridden Greece leave the eurozone and adopt its own currency.

German daily Bild said on Saturday it had obtained a copy of a letter and contract from TUI to hoteliers, reserving the right to pay in the new currency, should Greece drop the euro.

A spokesman for the travel operator, Robin Zimmermann, confirmed the report.

"We have to protect ourselves against these kinds of currency risks," he told Bild. "There is more than a theoretical possibility that Greece will leave the eurozone."

Experts say that a new Greek currency could lose up to 60 percent of its value shortly after it is introduced.

The board chairman of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE), Andreas Andreadis, told the paper that a number of hotel owners in Greece had received the letter from TUI requesting them to sign a new contract.

"No hotelier is going to do that, and we have appealed to the Greek tourism ministry," he said. "TUI cannot pressure any hoteliers into signing something like this."

The notion that Athens could default on its debt has raised fears of a domino effect that could shake other debt-burdened eurozone members, such as Italy.

As the crisis continues to weigh on financial markets, speculation that Greece could leave the eurozone and revert to its former currency, the drachma, is growing.

The Local/arp

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

13:49 November 5, 2011 by Lachner
What did the Greeks expect? They want to turn their back on the EU, drop the Euro currency and default their debts, but still continue to enjoy all the benefits of the EU? Get a grip! If they leave the EU and drop the Euro, they will be paid in their own currency which will be devalued by 60%. If they don't sign the contract, then I'm sure that Hotels in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Turkey, the Caribbean and Latin America will welcome the new business and influx of wealthy Germans.
13:55 November 5, 2011 by pepsionice
Here's my Greek response.....say "sure", and say that you'd like to include the acceptance of German "lira" (don't even say Deutsch-Marks). When the German gets all upset and angry.....tell him that it's ok if was German Reich-marks as well. I'm guessing whatever relationship you had with the German....is pretty much gone by that point.

My guess....for 2012....don't expect many Germans in Greece.

Oh, and maybe Germans should calculate up what life would be like if you had to suddenly return to the old D-marks. It might interesting to discuss this potential return.
17:04 November 5, 2011 by Eastard
@pepsionmice

There are major differences between the instances you use and today... The Greeks are blowing off deliberate abuse of monetary management causing OTHERS to loose allot off money... Even amidst OTHERS trying to help the Greeks they protest against change... It is 100% sure that the world is not obligated to fund the Greek lifestyle in anyones currency ... existing or past. As I recall from recent readings in the Athens Times... many Greeks think it is a normal seasonal thing to default at others expense as though there were no losers... or maybe no Greek losers... It remains very foolish to slap the hands that help... The Greeks want the drachma back without any currency valuation... isn't that consistent with their concept of who is supposed to loose...

I think the German travel agency was kind to offer to let them continue to book... and should insist in the currency requirement... or advise their customers of the long term high risk of doing business with the Greeks... They have a substantial world reputation to regain or tourism will vanish...

It is fine for the Greeks to live in a fantasy... however world money does not live there...
02:54 November 6, 2011 by Dizz
How can that be in a contract? There seems to be a misconception amongst many that you can put anything that you can dream up into a contract and if the other person signs it, then its enforcable by law. Wrong. Contracts have to be within the law to start with, both the letter and, if contested, the spirit. This means that any contract that is blatently one-sided will not stand up if tested in a court of law. Or that's the theory at least.
08:33 November 6, 2011 by mos101392
Leaving the Euro might be the best solution. They go back to the Drachma... The Drachma loses value... Greece then becomes a very inexpensive tourism destination. Greeks enjoy the new legions of tourists and count their Drachmas at the end of the day. Meanwhile, other countries will witness less tourism because it's cheaper to go to Greece.
09:13 November 6, 2011 by jg.
"We have to protect ourselves against these kinds of currency risks..."

Patently, the TUI spokesman is being economical with the truth. As TUI will no doubt expect their customers to continue to pay them in Euros, the least risk of currency fluctuations would be achieved by TUI paying their suppliers in Euros. In reality, TUI believes that a future Drachma would devalue and TUI would like to make a fatter profit by pocketing the difference (as there was no mention of making more money, it seems unlikely that TUI are planning on passing any savings on to their customers).

If the Greeks are to pay back what they owe to foreign banks, they will need to earn in foreign currencies and in countries with weak economies or unstable currencies, it is common for hotels and other travel companies to accept payments in popular foreign currencies. If TUI really want to help, perhaps they should ask to see an accounts summary and Greek tax return for each Greek company with whom they do business.

In the end, regardless of the currency in use, prices reflect demand, supply and competition. The snag is, the relatively few large tour operators tend to stifle competition, much like supermarkets vs farmers.
14:03 November 14, 2011 by agarwaen
@Eastard

A more accurate analogy would be that the "Germany" super market, gave some of its customer's a credit card to use in the store, and forced them to sign an agreement, to use the "Germany" store only. Also, it made them give up their garden and their livestock. It racked up some handsome profits that way, first from the product sales and secondly from the credit card interest. Now the customers are bled dry, and they can't borrow from their own family (their own currency) because that's forbiden also (the ECB isn't a lender of last resort, it's the only central bank in the world that operates in that way ). So the "Germany" Super Market is lending some more money, with a handsome interest, while trying to find ways to make its customers solvent in the long run, and get its promised interest returns, since it (its Banks) has recorded them as income already, in the Super Market's books.

Germany is looking for its own self interests, and rightly so, like every country should. Thinking that German politicians live in some fairy land and are "trying to help the Greeks" is kind of naive.
Today's headlines
SPD: Restore 45-percent investment tax
The tax privilege for investment income is unfair, says the SPD. Photo: DPA

SPD: Restore 45-percent investment tax

The centre-left half of Germany's coalition government has called for the old top rate of a 45-percent tax on investments to be brought back - to match standard income tax and fight the squeeze on middle incomes. READ () »

Customs find smuggled cash in every third car
Sniffing out the money. Photo: DPA

Customs find smuggled cash in every third car

The number of Germans smuggling large amounts of cash across the Swiss border rose dramatically last year. Customs officers said on Thursday they made a find in almost every third car they checked. READ () »

Crystal meth use hits record level
Crystal meth seized in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

Crystal meth use hits record level

Consumption of crystal meth in Germany appears to have reached a record level, according to government figures published on Thursday. READ () »

Child's near death sparks row over refugee homes
Leonardo had to have a finger and toe amputated after staff refused to call an ambulance. Photo: DPA

Child's near death sparks row over refugee homes

A political row has broken out in Bavaria after an asylum seekers' home failed to help a toddler who almost died of meningitis. The case has raised concerns about the treatment of refugees in the state. READ () »

Bayern and Dortmund to face off for German Cup
Kaiserslautern fans let off flares in the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night. Photo: DPA

Bayern and Dortmund to face off for German Cup

Holders Bayern Munich will face Borussia Dortmund in next month's German Cup final after cruising to a 5-1 win over second-division Kaiserslautern in Wednesday's semi-final. READ () »

Zalando hits back after undercover report
Working conditions at online retailer Zalando are under the spotlight. Photo: DPA

Zalando hits back after undercover report

Online fashion retailer Zalando has prompted an investigation by state prosecutors in Erfurt against an undercover journalist who revealed alleged "trade secrets" in a TV report on Monday night. READ () »

Ex-minister jailed over F1 race track scandal
Ingolf Deubel in court on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

Ex-minister jailed over F1 race track scandal

A former state finance minister was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison on Wednesday, having been found guilty of embezzling money in the scandal around the failed sale of the Nürburgring Formula One race track. READ () »

Upper Bavaria boasts lowest EU unemployment
A Bavarian worker works hard Photo: DPA

Upper Bavaria boasts lowest EU unemployment

Southern and central Bavaria have the lowest unemployment in the EU, according to figures released on Tuesday, with one business leader boasting the area has “de facto full employment”. READ () »

Thousands of tax evaders come forward to declare
Uli Hoeneß was jailed last month for tax evasion. Photo: DPA

Thousands of tax evaders come forward to declare

The number of German tax evaders who have self-declared to avoid prosecution trebled in the first quarter of 2014, figures published on Wednesday showed, with the rise put down to the "Uli Hoeneß effect". READ () »

Petition fails to remove WWII Russian tanks
One of the WWII Russian tanks near the Brandenburg Gate. Photo: DPA

Petition fails to remove WWII Russian tanks

The German government rejected on Wednesday a call by two newspapers to remove Russian tanks from a World War II memorial in central Berlin in protest against spiralling tensions in Ukraine. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
'The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany'
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The week in pictures: April 5th - April 11th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
Advertisement:
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo:ESL
Sponsored Article
How to integrate successfully in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,133
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd