Traffic jams “show Germans staying near home”, avoiding Greece and Turkey

Vacation traffic jams across Germany, Austria and into Italy indicate that Germans have decided to spend summer closer to home according to the ADAC motoring club. On the losing side are Turkey and Greece.

ADAC spokesman Jochen Oesterle said an unusually large volume of German motorists caught in tailbacks into Austria and Italy’s northern Lombardy region were clear signs that they were avoiding Turkey, previously a popular destination.

“That the German vacation traffic clogs up so heavily in upper Italy … that’s not what I have observed for a long time,” Oesterle told the German news agency DPA on Sunday.

“Many of those who are now driving to Italy would have flown previously to Turkey,” he said, referring to anxieties over recent terror attacks in Turkey and post-coup tensions.

Numerous road works were also causing delays across Europe, Oesterle added.

Germany registered hundreds of tailbacks, some more than 20 kilometers (13 miles) long, also along its popular North Sea and Baltic Sea coastlines, around Hamburg and north of Berlin, over the weekend.

Dramatic falloffs too in Greece

Austria’s “Der Standard” newspaper said Greece’s islands faced a dramatic reduction in tourist numbers.

It cited the case of Lesbos, where summer-time café tables have been reported to be standing empty.

Tourism on Lesbos had dropped a dramatic 60 percent, “Der Standard” said. Greeks were absent because of their own economic crisis and weekly, incoming foreign charter flights had been reduced by two-thirds – from 35 to 12.

Greek authorities have managed to take refugees to initial assistance facilities well inland.

“For the tourists, from that point of time the refugees are no longer visible. However, the island had already lost its reputation,” according to “Der Standard.”