Locals protest on Greek beaches as ‘Towel Movement’ spreads

Greek Towel Movement
By Linsey McNeill
Home » Locals protest on Greek beaches as ‘Towel Movement’ spreads

Locals have been protesting about expensive sunloungers for tourists taking over public beaches on the Greek islands.

The ‘Towel Movement’ campaign started on the island of Paros and has since spread to neighbouring Naxos.

The group is against hotels, bars and restaurants leasing areas of beach, placing sunbeds and charging high prices for daily use.

Some venues are charging around €60 a day to hire two sunloungers and a parasol, or €120 to sit in a ‘VIP area’.

Last week, hundreds of locals staged a sit-in on beaches holding signs saying things like ‘Reclaim the beach’.

A Facebook group Save the Beaches of Naxos NOW! has attracted 5,000 members.

“We claim our right to public space, our right to enjoy our beaches that are encroached upon by greedy, socially irresponsible businessmen who occupy beaches in their entirety or exceed their limits by up to 100 times the area they legally lease,” the Save Paros Beaches group said in a statement to the Metro.

An article in the New York Times claimed businesses are taking up more than double the amount of space they’ve paid to lease, while images posted on Facebook show some beaches almost entirely covered by pay-for-use sunloungers.

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