Rowdy Italian teenagers dumped in Hamburg

4th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

4 July 2006, ROME - The World Cup semifinal in Dortmund was not the only event dividing Italy and Germany on Tuesday.

4 July 2006

ROME - The World Cup semifinal in Dortmund was not the only event dividing Italy and Germany on Tuesday.

Back in Rome, Mayor Walter Veltroni held talks with Germany's ambassador to Italy, Michael Gerdts, over an unusual case that risked straining traditionally friendly relations between the two countries: A group of Roman teenagers dumped in Hamburg by a Lufthansa captain.

The 33 children, aged between 11 and 15 years old, were on their way to Manchester for a summer course Sunday when the captain of Flight LH 4872 decided to make an unscheduled stop in Hamburg and unload them in the German city, reportedly for being too rowdy and threatening security on the plane.

The children and teenagers, who attend a famous Roman school run by the Jesuits, have denied the charges and argue that the captain acted too severely.

"OK, they may have been a little loud, but the behaviour of the German carrier was unacceptable," said Simonetta Rubei, mother of 12- year-old Matteo.

According to the Italians' version of events, the youngsters were treated like criminals by police and were forced to collect money among themselves to pay for a hotel while in Hamburg.

They were also left with no change of clothes as their luggage continued its journey to England.

The children have since arrived in Manchester and Mayor Veltroni says he has received assurances that the German authorities are looking into the case.

Despite an apology from Lufthansa, parents told the Ansa news agency they were considering taking legal action against the German carrier.

DPA

Subject: German news

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