There's some very good news today for those Brits - and Germans - who are infuriated by the practice of "reserving" sun loungers by creeping out at 4am and leaving towels on them: the practice is not legally binding and any "British tourist would be quite within their legal rights to ignore the reservation implied by the towels if there is nobody there".
That is according to German lawyer Ralf Höcker, who enlightened the Guardian as to the delicious legal truth. His sun lounger judgement is published in his forthcoming "New Dictionary of Popular Legal Errors", which also records that leaving your coat on a pub chair or attempting to "reserve" a vacant parking spot for future occupation, are equally dodgy.
Höcker said: "The towel thing is not such a big deal in Germany, but I have to say that the stereotype is true - German people do reserve all the loungers. It's also worth saying that it also infuriates some German people.
"There is a certain type of German tourist who does it, the same type who when they are on the beach builds a little wall with shelves and so on to protect their spot."
Yes, we can just see the rap sheet now: German charged with annexing sun lounger with beach towel and subsequently constructing defensive wall of pine shelving. Englishman charged with removing said shelving and attempting to liberate aforementioned sun lounger. Both charged with punching each other on a public beach. ®