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Greece picks up the Sunbed battle, plans to increase leasing prices

Another state effort to bring order into one more field of  Greek chaos: the sunbeds on Greek beaches. Illegal spread of sunbeds, tables and chairs, low leasing prices. The Public Properties Secretariat is preparing a bill to increase the leasing price and take the chaos under control. However, also this effort would fail, if there is no inspection that businesses follow the rules.

The finance ministry battle started in the most famous and most expensive beach in Greece, Psarou, on the island of Mykonos. Cause for the dispute with leaser Nammos is that the state lease is very low, when the leaser charges 120 euro for a set of sunbeds and an umbrella.

The state rents the beach for 80 euro per square meter. Total revenues 120,000 euro per year. Too low when compared to the revenues and the profit the leaser cashes from sunbathers, the ministry says and adds that “the leasing price was set according to the daily rent until the year 2014.” The daily rents went up but the state did not receive its appropriate share, the ministry argues.

“This will change,” says the Greek Finance Ministry announcing that it is preparing a legislation according to which the lease price will be in proportion to the revenues for the leaser. According to Star TV, local authorities on Mykonos seem to agree, the ministry promises the new legislation to go into effect before the summer season next year.

Greek beaches and coastal area are owned by the state which decides what their use will be. The state subleases the beaches and coastal ares to local municipalities which are assigned with the further subleasing to private businesses.

However, it seems that businessmen often do not stick to the terms and conditions of the contract. Not only they expand illegally, sometimes taking up twice or three times the space they are allowed to. Many of them also do not comply with their obligation to clean the area they use.

There are also people setting up businesses on the beach without having received permission to do so and without paying rent to municipalities and consequently to the state.

Authorities complain that they are severely understaffed so that they cannot monitor the beaches and the contracts.

“We cannot monitor beaches in the best possible way because time is wasted with irrelevant procedures,” said an official at a state-run office that monitors beaches on islands in the Cyclades.

The official, who asked to remain anonymous told daily Kathimerini, said that 500 Cyclades beaches have been leased this year but none has been inspected.

Normally, it needs a complaint to do an inspection Furthermore, “most authorities are wary of clashing with businessmen at the height of the summer tourist season.”

The official also said that inspections are carried out by local police and that penalizing offenders could take time, sometimes up to two years. “An express procedure should be implemented so that offenders are fined on the spot,” he said.

 

In addition, “the model of subleasing has proven to be problematic as it has given rise to a spike in under-the-table dealings with vast amounts of money going undeclared.”

PS The essence of the whole story is that the state implements the broader model of contribution according to revenues as it did with self-employed and freelancers and their social security contributions.

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2 comments

  1. lol i just sit on the sand for free. thank god in greece on a public beach you can sit for free (they can’t kick you out unless you are sitting on a sun bed!) i really hope that does not change!

  2. Omigod 120 euros a day for 2 sunbeds and an umbrella in Mykonos?!!!!!!!!!!