AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
LVIV: UEFA chief Michel Platini on Thursday accused "bandits and crooks" of hiking hotel prices in Ukraine to sky-high levels for the Euro 2012 football championships, amid growing concerns over the price of accommodation.
"It's annoying to have made a lot of investment and then say to people that they can't come because there are bandits and crooks who want to make a lot of money during this Euro," Platini said on a visit to the host city of Lviv in western Ukraine.
"Yes, this worries me. I think that the authorities are there to make sure that things are respected," he added.
With less than two months to go until kick-off in the football extravaganza jointly hosted with Poland, alarm is increasing that hoteliers in the four Ukrainian host cities are looking to take advantage of the unprecedented influx of foreigners.
"You can't change (the price of a room) from 40 euros to 100 and then up to 500 just like that from one day to the other, this just is not done," said Platini.
He indicated that some Ukrainian hoteliers were also not respecting contracts for rooms agreed before the championships.
"I hope for your sake (Ukraine) that the contracts which hoteliers have made will be respected as otherwise the people are not going to come," he added.
Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the Euro Borys Kolesnikov, speaking alongside Platini, promised to take the necessary measures "within the next 30 days" to solve the problem.
Platini was later due to open with President Viktor Yanukovych a new airport terminal in Lviv, which has always been seen as the Ukrainian city requiring the most new infrastructure in order to host the tournament.