All Eyes on Ukraine Come EURO 2012 – International Herald Tribune
Kyiv, May 23, 2012. The global edition of The New York Times – International Herald Tribune – offers a take on Ukraine as a EURO 2012 host. The one-page special feature Ukraine: EURO 2012 covers the issues of football championship organization, the state of infrastructure in the country, as well as tourist attractions.
The opening article of the supplement “Rolling Out the European Welcome Mat for Soccer’s Closely Watched Contest” states that all eyes are going to be on Ukraine come EURO 2012. The author notes that Ukrainian officials hope the championship will help the country “become more integrated into Europe”.
International Herald Tribune discusses Ukraine’s achievements in infrastructure preparations. New stadiums, roads, railways, and airports were built for EURO 2012. “Nobody in the world in 18 months has created such infrastructure as we in Ukraine,” the paper quotes Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Borys Kolesnikov. Ukraine’s EURO 2012 investment in infrastructure approaches USD 4 billion.
One of the infrastructure improvements is the decrease of travel time between EURO 2012 host cities due to the introduction of high-speed and technologically advanced, Wi-Fi equipped trains. Now a traveler needs only three and a half hours to travel 500 km to the Ukrainian capital from the east-Ukrainian megalopolis of Kharkiv.
To make football fans’ journey to Ukraine even more fuss-free Ukraine dropped the visa requirement for the citizens of the EU, Switzerland, Canada, Japan, and the USA, who enter the country for the period of up to 90 days. Curiously, one of the EURO 2012 participants – Croatia – will only join the EU in July of 2013; therefore, its citizens do need a visa to go to Ukraine. Yet, the author informs that Croatians “have been given an exemption for the course of the championship”.
International Herald Tribune emphasizes that visitors will find “much more to discover” in Ukraine besides the actual football tournament. The author Kevin O’Flynn introduces the readers to Ukraine’s green pearl – the Carpathian Mountains. The mountains are a popular skiing and green tourism destination in the west of the country. The paper goes on to admire Ukraine’s southern treasure – Crimean peninsula surrounded by the Black Sea. “Amazing landscapes and charming resorts” make up for the region’s main attractions.