Greece: towel protest against extortion on beaches
High prices for a spot on the beach have tensions running high in Greece. Around 300 people bearing towels and banners protested for the first time at the end of July on a beach on the island of Paros against operators of partly illegal beach bars filling up beaches with sun loungers and then charging people money to use them. Similar protests followed at other popular holiday resorts. The government has now announced plans to crack down on the rampant beach trade.
A necessary source of income
Things shouldn’t be allowed to go too far, CNN Greece warns:
“Of course the law must be respected. ... But if we want to continue to generate revenue from tourism, we must offer visitors the right experience. ... This includes a (legal) sun lounger by the sea. Business owners have the right to charge as much as they want for this, as long as they’re taxed for it. Cynical as it may sound, this is the kind of tourism our country needs if we want to increase our revenues and per capita consumption. After all, someone who spends money on a (legal) sun lounger will probably also eat in restaurants, drink in bars and generally support the local community with their money. Otherwise, we run the risk of being left with nothing but a towel in our hands.”