Greek shoreline – just another thing to be sold

greek beach  Enveloped in a delusional haze of market correctness the Greek government has launched new legislation that will effectively allow the privatization of the Greek shoreline – provided it is for commercial rather than residential purposes! They may as well have said “provided its corporations buying to build restricted zones for holidaying Germans….”.

In a triumph for ‘Troika style’ democracy and transparency, the law itself was introduced just before Easter and the discussion period runs right through the Euro-election campaign when everything else is being discussed. Nope, nothing to see here…..

So exactly how bad is this legislation?  Have a look at some key elements being proposed:

1. All restrictions on the space that can be used for such temporary infrastructure as umbrellas, sun-loungers and refreshment stands on the seafront has been removed. Previously, the law mandated 100 metre breaks of open beach between developed areas.

2. All reference to the right of access to the seashore are removed, as are restrictions on exclusive access. Effectively, the shoreline is no longer held in common but can be parcelled up into private fiefdoms. The only reference to public access now states that the terms of use must ensure that there is public access while taking the benefit or damage of stakeholders into account (loose translation)

3. The building of permanent structures for private profit is streamlined and obstacles removed. The legislation now says only that any such seaside development must be shown to be absolutely necessary to achieve the economic goals of the venture in question. Effectively, this allows hotels to extend their development all the way down to the sea itself.

4.Landfills are now allowed to further extend the shoreline for development.

5.  It opens up the possibility that structures built illegally in the past because they circumvented previous restrictions on shoreline development might  be declared legal after the fact, provided they are for commercial rather than residential use.

 Despite the rush to please the Troika demands for urgency, a fast growing opposition movement has emerged on social media, and the next stage of the campaign will be to take the protest onto the beaches.

See this blog for more details

Just might be a hot summer of discontent!!

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