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Euro 2012 party over for Donetsk

Euro 2012 party over for Donetsk
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The Euro 2012 party is over in Donetsk, the eastern Ukrainian town that hosted the semi final between Spain and Portugal on Wednesday.

For European football fans, Donetsk is home to the legendary Shakhtar club. But local businesses are hoping the competition will bring the city to a wider audience

ESTA hotel holding manager Anton Gliwinskiy told Euronews the feedback from guests was that they had had a good time in the city and had enjoyed their stay.

“They will go back home and tell their friends about it,” he said.

Founded by Welsh businessman John Hughes in 1869, Donetsk is still Ukraine’s coal and steel hub.

For communications manager, Vera Diachenko, the football tournament has been a way of showing foreigners there is much more to the town than mines and history. She believes many came to Donetsk with the idea of an old town that had not moved with the times.

“After they came to the matches, they saw themselves that it is not true,” she added.

But not all locals believe the event will change things in Donetsk. One man said during the tournament life improved with everyone – “even law enforcement officials” – happy and polite. But he believes once the last of the fans leave town, everything will go back to the way it was.

And the verdict from visitors was not unanimous either. The Donetsk experience appears to have been a relative one, depending on where fans came from. A group of Norwegians had a good time for example, praising a “very nice city, big streets and very good warm weather”.

But Spanish fans complained there was no room in hotels and everything was expensive. “We’ll have to work here for a week and then leave when transport costs come down,” one joked.

But waiting a week would mean not making it to the Kiev on Sunday when Spain face Italy in the final. And what Spaniard would want to miss that?