Vacations are a Human Right, and Europe Will Subsidize Them

From The Times (London): Brussels decrees holidays are a human right

AN overseas holiday used to be thought of as a reward for a year’s hard work. Now Brussels has declared that tourism is a human right and pensioners, youths and those too poor to afford it should have their travel subsidised by the taxpayer.

Under the scheme, British pensioners could be given cut-price trips to Spain, while Greek teenagers could be taken around disused mills in Manchester to experience the cultural diversity of Europe.

The idea for the subsidised tours is the brainchild of Antonio Tajani, the European Union commissioner for enterprise and industry, who was appointed by Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister.

The scheme, which could cost hundreds of millions of pounds a year, is intended to promote a sense of pride in European culture, bridge the north-south divide in the continent and prop up resorts in their off-season.

Apparently, members of qualifying demographics will be chosen to receive about a 30% subsidy. I’m just left to wonder whether this will be enough to satisfy governments’ obligation to protect the rights of its citizens, summed up thusly:

Tajani’s spokesman said: “Why should someone from the Mediterranean not be able to travel to Edinburgh in summer for a breath of cool, fresh air; why should someone from Edinburgh not be able to travel to Greece in winter?”

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. And then they wonder why their currency is failing, their member countries can’t pay their bonds, and the rest of the world regards them as laggards in growth?

  2. Right, and here in the US we taxpayers subsidize our lawmaker’s right to trips all over the world 😉

  3. Everything is a “right” and the government spends money they don’t have like a drunken sailor. Yet, how often do you hear anything about individual or collective obligations?

  4. This is such a f’ing dumb idea it amazes me. Of course, it’s also announced right during the time when the volcanic ask is wrecking havoc and the EU’s own AIRLINES are asking for money from the government due to “lost revenues”.

  5. C’mon, guys. Don’t you know that everything nice is a human right? Oh, except freedom and individual self-determination. We’d really like that to be a right, but some people keep insisting on making bad choices like eating too much salt and voting against subsidised vacations for tax eaters. Just because you don’t want to be forced at gunpoint to pay for a tax eater’s vacation doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a basic human right to it. Sheesh.

  6. Steak dinners, back massages, and hot girlfriends are also human rights. So are banks that can’t fail, auto makers that are immune to market forces, and pretty much everything else. I don’t know why it took so long for us to finally get politicians in office who understand that it’s so simple to provide these things… all you have to do is tax what works to pay for what doesn’t work, and every wrong is magically righted!

  7. The Times and Sunday Times newspapers are not what they once were. And the UK is in the middle of a general election campaign, which for certain newspapers means stirring up anti-EU feelings with articles like this. Nonsense, speculative reporting and headlines that aren’t justified by the content (as in the ST article Gary quotes from) are all too frequent.

    Another example of an awful Times headline? Try this one, from this week: “Everest set to become new Brokeback Mountain after Nepal U-turn on gays”. The story is actually good and apparently accurate, unlike the “Brussels declares…” one, but the headline writer should be shot:

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