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16 June, 2024
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Free beach movement's proposals embraced

Popular support sways council decision, sparks drive to reclaim beaches

Kathimerini Greece Newsroom

The Citizens’ Movement for Free Beaches of Paros against their illegal occupation with sun beds and assorted furniture has declared a “significant” and “symbolic” victory after the island’s municipal council unanimously adopted all the proposals made by the municipal opposition, such as strictly implementing the delimitation of the concession areas, carrying out inspections and others.

The movement delivered a resolution with 10 proposals. “More than 250 citizens watched it live and dozens more listed from their radios. It was something unprecedented,” Damianos Gavalas, one of the movement’s founding members told Kathimerini, referring to the meeting of the council.

“Given the timing of the above decisions, we do not expect results this year, but we consider the vote to be binding for the future,” he said, noting that protest rallies against offending businesses have already brought about reversals.

“Mixed teams have been set up, consisting of police officers and municipal employees. They are carrying out checks which have led to arrests on the spot,” Gavalas stressed.

“Until yesterday they were saying that this was impossible because of understaffing, but it is finally possible – and could have started 10 years ago,” he added.

Meanwhile, a large protest took place on Sunday at Monastiri beach with the participation of more than 650 people. This area is popular with hikers and is also of historical, religious, geological and environmental importance.

A similar climate of protest is also prevailing on Rhodes. On Sunday, the Umbrella Network carried out a protest at a beach near a hotel, with around 200 activists distributing information leaflets to bathers about their rights. Organizers pointed out that most of the beach has been occupied by umbrella stands for the last two years, elbowing out residents who do not want to use the services of these businesses.

A complaint has even been lodged with the police, as the terms of the concession have been violated by the beach bars.

Cyprus  |  Greece  |  beach  |  protest

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