According to The Register, a British coach driver set fire to Germans’ towels on the Italian Riviera in order to make sun loungers available to British holidaymakers:
Glyn Bowden, 55, was driver for 55 South Wales tourists at at Viana Marina near San Remo. He yesterday recounted how the Germans “put their towels on the best sunbeds on the private beach and by a nearby pool”, much to the chagrin of the British party, The Daily Mail reports.
The situation escalated and Bowden set fire to the towels. He was arrested and about to be charged for criminal damage, but he was released after two hours at the request of the hotel, which owned the towels.
Here’s the original Daily Mail report. I tend to agree with the first three comments there: the Germans get up very early, and that’s why they are seen to do this – something other nations do too. And there’s nothing to stop you removing a towel and releasing the sun bed. (See earlier entry on Ralf Höcker’s book)
But the tabloid papers love to fan the flames of this one.
On the other hand, when I go to the local sauna, there is a women’s room with about 30 loungers. The last time I went, six people were lying there and all the other loungers had towels on them. Of course, they didn’t know I am British.
(Thanks to Trevor)