For travel agent Holger Schneider, Europe’s financial crisis is finally hitting home.
Germans famously love to travel. But the deepening crisis on the continent -- and calls for greater German financial help from Greece and Spain -- has prompted many would-be vacationers to stay home and keep a tighter grip on their money.
“People give their money to the bank to save,” said Schneider. “But the banks give it to these weak countries and maybe the people will never get it back.”
So far, the recession that is sweeping across the rest of the continent has not arrived in Germany. That may help explain why opinion polls here show that Germans still oppose bailouts of Greece and Spain by roughly two to one.
“We are reading about the crisis in the newspapers and we’ve been hearing it in the media for years, but the average German has not experienced it,” said Frederich Heinemann, an economist at the Centre for European Economic Research. “We are not living in that crisis world.”