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Last Updated: Monday, 8 August 2005, 17:16 GMT 18:16 UK
German sun lounger issue settled
The law applies, even on the beach
Germans are not legally able to reserve sun loungers using beach towels, a German lawyer has revealed.

Ralf Hoecker said extensive research had revealed there was nothing in either German or Spanish law that stopped other tourists removing towels.

His research is included in a book entitled the New Dictionary of Popular Legal Errors, published last week.

Mr Hoecker said most Germans were blissfully unaware of the English stereotype of them hogging loungers.

"Nobody knows this in Germany, that it is a stereotype. It is the same with the football rivalry," Mr Hoecker said.

Mr Hoecker has only researched German and Spanish law, the two places where British holidaymakers are most likely to encounter their Teutonic counterparts.

And tourists are warned not to become too militant.

Germans may have hired the sun loungers, and whatever the situation it is illegal to damage their towels.

But in normal circumstances, British tourists can simply remove the towels and sit down, the lawyer from Cologne asserted.

Mr Hoecker's last dictionary proved extremely popular, remaining on the German bestseller list for a number of weeks.

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