Friday, July 29, 2005


German holiday-makers flock to Italy's beaches every summer. A beach etiquette controversy has ensued:
Italian and German newspapers have exchanged broadsides over beach etiquette in a storm-in-a-teacup spat with shades of the diplomatic row provoked by Italian tourism minister Stefano Stefani in 2003.

The latest argument broke out following the publication of a beach behaviour manual by Italy's Union of Bathing Establishments (SIB), which advised holiday makers to cover up their bodies, avoid excessive drinking and forego hanging up their clothes from parasols, the UK's Independent reports.

The newspaper debate has not attracted any comments from Italy or Germany's political classes so far, but is reminiscent of Mr Stefani's withering criticisms of German behaviour two years ago.

The former tourism minister said that "[Germans] rowdily invade our beaches but in their most widely read daily, Bild, right on cue before the beginning of every season, with a precision that is punctilious to say the least, they never omit to report the number of car thefts in Rimini or even the latest statistics for Mafia victims in Sicily".

The tourism minister also lashed out at socialist German MEP Martin Schulz saying that he "probably grew up amid noisy belching contests after gargantuan beer drinking sessions and huge helpings of fried potatoes".
What's not to like about drunk, scantily clad Huns?


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