KYIV: Ukraine’s state President Viktor Yanukovych has stepped into the row over hotel charges by ordering his government to prevent hotels from charging exorbitant prices on his side of the Euro 2012 border with Poland.

Fans have complained that some Ukrainian hotels have demanded as much as 10 times their usual rates for rooms during this summer’s finals.

Yanukovych, specifically, has told  his Infrastructure Minister Borys Kolesnikov and Finance Ministers to ensure that hotel prices are brought to an “economically grounded” level. He did not clarify exactly how the order could be enforced.

UEFA officials have said that curbing hotel prices remains a major issue over tournament organisations.

Kolesnikov said: “Hotels have to undertand we cannot sell for €2,000 something that cost €200 yesterday. If we take the residents of the Soviet Union and France 25 years ago, the difference in living standards is enormous. Therefore, French tourists who came to Moscow and St Petersburg seemed fabulously rich people.

“Hotel owners should realize that ordinary people will come to our country, the same workers from French car plants, electric companies, and managers and they cannot pay that kind of money. I think that we will stabilize the situation and set proper market prices.”

Kolesnikov noted that the state had exempted the hotel business from the country’s profits tax for at least the next five years.

He added: “Greed causes poverty. It seems it’s cheaper to travel to three matches with France on charter flights rather than live in Ukraine for 10  days. Hotels must understand that they will lose all revenues.”

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