Greece dishes out €350,000 in fines to businesses illegally charging tourists for sunbeds

Greece sunbed wars
By Linsey McNeill
Home » Greece dishes out €350,000 in fines to businesses illegally charging tourists for sunbeds

Greece has begun enforcing strict new regulations to prevent businesses from charging tourists for expensive sunbeds and parasols.

The finance ministry has issued more than €350,000 fines on restaurants and entrepreneurs accused of charging for spaces illegally or preventing free access.

New rules introduced this year state that rental sunbeds, deck chairs and parasols must be at least four metres from the sea, and no rentals are allowed on smaller beaches with less than four metres of sand.

Tourists can report abuses on a new app, MyCoast, and authorities have also been using drones and satellites to spot businesses breaking the rules.

In five days, they have acted on more than 1,000 complaints, mainly in Attica, Halkidiki, Rhodes, Chios, Kalymnos, Parga, Aegina and Messolonghi, and taken action on 14 beaches.

Economy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said they’ll deploy drones in the coming days in the Cyclades islands, including Syros, Mykonos, Santorini and Naxos, as well as in the Dodecanese, including Rhodes.

In a LinkedIn post, Mr Hatzidakis said that satellite images revealed that the new law ‘with the toughest sanctions in Europe’ had already led to improvements on Greece’s beaches.

He added: “Our goal is to protect the environment and the citizen’s right to free access to the beach. To preserve our tourism product. 

“But of course we should also support healthy entrepreneurship represented by entrepreneurs who do their job properly. And there should be no doubt that in the coming period the controls will continue even more intensively, giving priority to the areas with the most citizens’ complaints. 

“Whatever we have said, we mean it! We are determined to apply legality everywhere on the beaches!”

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