February 25, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Battle for a free beach holiday

Court officials have ruled that free access to the beaches is not impeded by a significant increase in rent by the municipality of Mykonos, according to the lawyer, a resident of the island who filed the corresponding claim.

The “battle” for free access to the famous beaches of Mykonos has reached the highest judicial authorities. Entrepreneurs involved in renting and operating similar businesses (beach holiday services) have seen municipal fees skyrocket, rising from 65% to 400% compared to last summer.

The case was taken to the Greek Supreme Court following a complaint filed by a lawyer living on the island. The human rights activist demanded to suspend the decision to increase municipal fees, and indeed to cancel them altogether, since, as he claims, otherwise, the costs will be passed on to vacationers, as a result of which citizens’ access to the beaches of the island will be completely “blocked”.

However, top judicial officials have ruled that free access to the beaches not difficult due to a significant increase in rent by the municipality of Mykonos. It was decided to consider the controversial issue again in 3 months, at the end of the tourist season.

The lawyer, who chose the civil rights litigation path, claims in a statement that the increase in fees for the use of the coastal strip by businesses limits its constitutionally guaranteed right to freely use the beaches of the Windy Island, since they are in the public domain. Besides he will not be able to financially cover his access to the island’s beaches on a daily basis due to prohibitive costs, which will exist as the increase in fees will be passed on to the cost of renting an umbrella and sun loungers, making the beach “unaffordable”.

Based on these data, daily use of the public good of the beach is not possible due to high cost. At the same time, he expresses the opinion that the municipality of Mykonos illegal does not save free zones on beachesso that people can come to the sea, since the beaches are given over to the operation of shops.

It is worth noting that in March last year, the Mykonos Municipal Council decided by a majority vote to increase the fee per square meter of beaches for two years, from 2023 to 2025.

So, on the famous Psarou beach, every square meter of the beach costs 120 euro for simple use and placement of paid umbrellas and sunbeds. While, according to the data, last year businessmen paid 60 euro per square meter.

Municipal fees increase to 240 euros per sq.m. for the installation of seats and tables, while also increasing the fixed fee, which this summer has been increased from 6,000 to 10,000 euros. The same prices are set on another famous beach of Paradise Island.

On the contrary, the municipal authorities decided reduce rent on the following beaches: Korfos, Agios Ioannis, Kalafati, Agia Anna, Paraga and Agios Stefanos. On these coasts, too, fees were initially increased, but based on a newer decision, the amounts were revised to 80 euros per sq.m., however, the additional flat fee remains at 10,000 euros.

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