THE long-running “war” between German and British tourists, about claiming the best sun lounger by the pool by leaving a beach towel on it, has been the subject of many jokes. But all that may be a thing of the past. For, according to a new German book of popular legal errors, leaving towels on sunbeds is not legally binding.
German lawyer Ralf Hocker has been researching Spanish and German law, and the results were published in a book, the New Dictionary of Popular Legal Errors, which came out at the beginning of the month. Volume one spent 20 weeks on the German best seller list last year.
“A tourist would be quite within their legal rights to ignore the reservation implied by the towels if there is nobody there,” said Hocker, 34, who lives in Cologne. He added that bar patrons who leave coats on chairs and pedestrians who try to claim parking spots for yet-to-appear cars are on equally shaky legal ground. Hocker claims he noticed the British obsession with the habits of German holiday makers while living in London.
But it is not just the British who object to the towel habit - German tourists are said to be enraged at a new code of beach behaviour, which they claim is aimed at preventing them from having a good time on the beach. The guide contains a series of “suggestions” for good behaviour on the beach.
They include no beer, no ghetto blasters and no skimpy swimwear.


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