Supreme court prosecutor to seek action against 'umbrella sprawl' on beaches

Supreme Court Public Prosecutor Ioannis Tentes on Friday announced his intention to seek action this summer against the overly aggressive habits of those hiring beach umbrellas, sunbeds or offering water sports and other leisure activities on Greece's public beaches. Tentes said the move would aim to restrict the virtual "take-over" of beaches by individuals exploited the space for profit so that members of the public not wishing to make use of the services for hire were effectively prevented from visiting the beach.
The supreme court prosecutor stressed that the occupation of the entire length and breadth of a beach by private individuals or even municipal authorities that then 'leased' areas on beaches were illegal.
"We are all aware of the trend for the renter to occupy the entire beach in advance and, in fact, with largely permanent facilities - beach umbrellas, sunbeds, boats etc - in such as way as to entirely exclude a section of the public that does not wish to make use of the services of the concessionaire for a fee from the use of a publicly owned good," he said.
Such practices were "of course illegal," he added, noting that the supreme court prosecutors' office intended to take action to control such behaviour by both private individuals and by municipal authorities if they fail to carry out required inspections.

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