• Germany's news in English
 

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

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

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)

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
Trabi project aims to electrify 'Ostalgia'
A Trabant being converted into an E-car. Photo: DPA

Trabi project aims to electrify 'Ostalgia'

Its chuntering motor and belching exhaust once heralded the coming of the communist utopia. Now the east German 'Trabi' is leading a new revolution, and this time you won't hear it coming. READ  

Gun maker denies problems with army rifles
A German soldier aims a G36 rifle. Photo: DPA

Gun maker denies problems with army rifles

Update: Weapons manufacturer Heckler & Koch denied on Monday evening that the G36 rifles it supplied to the Bundeswehr (German army) lose their accuracy when they are too hot. READ  

Merkel urges Germans: Give Greece a chance
Chancellor Merkel speaking in Helsinki. Photo: DPA

Merkel urges Germans: Give Greece a chance

On a visit to Helsinki on Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel showed a patient side to the German government as the Eurozone continues to wait for a new list of economic reforms from Greece. READ  

Germany, France, Italy want Euro drones
An American Reaper drone. Photo: DPA

Germany, France, Italy want Euro drones

Germany, France and Italy plan to push forward with plans for a European-made military drone, the German government told MPs on Monday. READ  

Energy prices drive return to inflation
Photo: DPA

Energy prices drive return to inflation

Inflation in Germany crept higher in March, driven by rebounding energy prices, preliminary data showed on Monday. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Lufthansa questions 60th anniversary jubilee
Photo: DPA

Lufthansa questions 60th anniversary jubilee

Germany's national airline is reconsidering plans to celebrate its 60th anniversary on April 15th following last weak's deadly crash of a plane from subsidiary Germanwings in the French Alps. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Prosecutor: co-pilot had suicidal tendencies
Photo: DPA

Prosecutor: co-pilot had suicidal tendencies

A spokesman for prosecutors in Düsseldorf said on Monday that Germanwings flight 4U9525 co-pilot Andreas Lubitz had been treated for suicidal tendencies in the years before obtaining his pilot's license. READ  

Minister promises “shredding-free” eggs
Photo: DPA

Minister promises “shredding-free” eggs

Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt hopes to end mass shredding of male chicks in hatcheries in the next two years, he announced on Monday. READ  

Düsseldorf police set up special 'Alps' unit
The site of the Germanwings crash in the French Alps. Photo: DPA

Düsseldorf police set up special 'Alps' unit

A new police unit, which will go under the name “Alps”, includes 100 officers whose task it is to identify victims of the Germanwings crash and to investigate the background of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz. READ  

Presented by the Croatian National Tourist Board
10 surprising things you didn’t know about Zagreb
Zagreb is a hot spot for tourists from Germany. But why? Photo: Shutterstock

10 surprising things you didn’t know about Zagreb

The Croatian capital is the latest trendy destination among Germans seeking warmer weather. So what’s the lure? The Local investigates ten reasons why the Deutsch are flocking to Zagreb. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Sponsored Article
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Germany
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

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

7,039
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd