Adventures in Supply and Demand...and Travel...and Politics...Euro 2012

Those who follow the soccer world will know that Euro 2012, the continental championship for european nations, begins this weekend. It would seem an opportune time to check in on the state of affairs in co-hosts Poland and Ukraine.

While I haven't seen much breaking news on the former, the latter has been making news as some hoteliers have raised prices by up to 10 times to take advantage of those desperate for a place to stay. However, among a laundry list of troubles which has included criminal gang activity (as well as potential racism), maybe paying high prices isn't the worst thing that could happen to hopeful attendees.

Nonetheless, Michel Platini, head of the governing body of soccer in Europe (UEFA) has called for authorities to intervene in time to ensure that the event is not ruined. However, if you take Transparency International's graft rankings seriously, it would seem that any relief granted will be superficial at best. 

Everyone but the most extreme cynic will hope that the tournament goes off without a hitch. Additionally, I have read nothing but positives with respect to co-host Poland. And, as I dicussed with a reader in the comments section of a recent post about Brazil 2014, there always seems to be alarmist reporting in the run up to one of these major tournaments, so maybe the situation in Ukraine is overblown.

However, UEFA also potentially (and with eyes wide open) put itself in a bad spot on this one. In addition to the problems noted above, the region has some, shall we say interesting, political issues at the moment. I hope all goes well during the tournament. However, if anything goes wrong, UEFA will have some tough questions to answer.

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