Actors’ reactions to the new bill for the seashore

The abolition of the minimum width of the beach zone, the taking away from municipalities the authority to lease beaches, and the level of coastal protection in natural areas were the focus of most of the observations of social actors. in the beach parliamentary commissions.

The bill “On Coast and Beach” was discussed yesterday in the Standing Committee on Economic Affairs with the opinions of public institutions. Arguably the most interesting statement was made by Kostas Konstantinidis, representative of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE), who instead of commenting on the articles, responded to criticisms of the bill over the past few days. So, regarding the return of the old beaches to the private property of the state, he noted that “this is a large property that the state should not dispose of. What to do is another matter” (ss with the “exploitation” of lands). He further requested that the old waterfront land be allowed to be subdivided even if it does not exist “but will be used with the subdivision attracting nearby tourist or other businesses.”

The representative of SETE also responded to the criticism regarding the abolition of the minimum width of the beach zone (30 meters in the current legislation) and noted that if the committees delimiting the coastal zones determine a smaller width of the beach, it should be sufficiently justified. He also supported a change in the way the coastline and beach are defined in the Twelve Islands (it is proposed to take an additional 12 meters of coastline and give the “rest” to private property of the state). “These are lands worth hundreds of millions of euros. As the islands increase their natural resources and in some cases even reach a depth of 500 meters, it is necessary to see how they will be exploited with sensitivity.”

The most interesting of SETE’s observations was the demand for the legalization of arbitrary projects of the tourism business on the sea coasts and beaches. “We do not mean construction projects, but coastal protection projects, connections for dams, sea water extraction projects and other similar projects, always before 2011, after being subject to environmental licensing.”

Otherwise, as expected, representatives of environmental organizations (WWF, Archelon, Hellenic Society for Nature Conservation, Hellenic Society for Environment and Culture) expressed serious objections to a number of issues, such as the abolition of the minimum width of 30 meters. beach zone (“The coastal structure-free zone in France is now 100 meters, in Germany 150 meters, in Denmark 300 meters and in Greece zero,” said WWF’s Anna Vafiadis), while all are demanding ratification of the Protocol. Barcelona Convention) for the integrated management of coastal areas, which defines a structure-free zone of 100 meters from the seashore. The organizations called for the inclusion of all coastal protected habitats in the “rogue” beaches. Panagiotas Theodorou, representative of Archeleon, was interested in pointing out that old beaches with sand or sand dunes or dense coastal vegetation should not be privately owned by the state.

A number of institutions have expressed their objections to the withdrawal of tenders for umbrella seats from municipalities. Finally, several authorities have noted that the limit of more than 50% of concession contracts, set by the legislature as the starting point for the harshest penalties, should be reduced, as it “sends a message” to those who illegally extend up to 50%. % “will be caught off guard”.

George Lialias

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