Anglo-German "Brits Abroad" Row Doing Scotland No Good

04 June 2008
Scottish National Party Member of the European Parliament Mr Alyn Smith has today (Wednesday) waded into the ongoing row between UK and German newspapers over which country's holidaymakers have the worst reputation.

Mr Smith has highlighted the more positive attitude to Scots, and called on all Scots holidaymakers to play the Scots card to ensure a better reception, though has stopped short of calling for all Scots holidaymakers to be issued with See You Jimmy hats at airport departure gates. The row comes after the German tabloid Bild issued a guide to the resorts most favoured by "britische lager louts" and advised their readers to avoid them.

Mr Smith, himself a former holiday rep on the Costa Brava, and student at Heidelberg University, has contrasted the warm response Scots receive in Spain and Germany from his own experience. He has also praised the conduct of the Tartan Army just returned from Prague where there was no trouble and a great atmosphere even despite the Scots losing the game.

Speaking from Brussels, Mr Smith said:

"All Scots know the difference in response from our continental friends when they find out we are Scots.

"I have watched this depressing Anglo-German spat with a sinking feeling and while it might bea bit of fun I resent seeing Scots lumped in with the "Brit Abroad" label and it is clear the Britishtag does us no favours on our holidays or in any other sense.

"The Scots national football fans are known the world over for their friendly and fun behaviour. I cannot imagine Bild Magazine running a story like this advising their millions of readers to avoid the Scots."

Laura Rayner, member of Edinburgh Tartan Army and just returned from Prague said:

"Scots tend to get a fantastic reception wherever we travel, and are quickly recognised to be Scots and not Brits. This is particularly the case when it comes to the Tartan Army. Scotland's travelling football support is showered with praise and awards for the behaviour of the fans while abroad.

"It is incredibly frustrating to see us labelled in such a way. Just the last few days in Prague demonstrate so clearly the difference between these "britische lager louts" that Bild Magazine warns of and Scots who travel abroad to follow their national team. While the riot police sat idly in their vans, the Tartan Army marched through the town singing and gathering crowds as they went. For a change, the bagpipers in Prague's Old Square drew more of a crowd than the astronomical clock!"