We, the undersigned citizens, residents, part-time residents or visitors of the island of Paros, bring to your attention a matter of great concern regarding numerous violations and arbitrary actions by entrepreneurs who have been granted the right of simple use of common areas of the seashore and beach by the Municipality of Paros. Over the years, we have observed a consistent disregard for the terms and conditions set forth in these concessions. It is imperative that immediate action be taken to address these violations and ensure the protection of our legally guaranteed rights to use the public, common goods of the seashore and beach.
The violations we have witnessed include the following:
- Unauthorized occupation of a larger area of public space than specified by Joint Ministerial Decision 38609 EX 2023 (Government Gazette 1432 / B ́ / 10-03-2023), surpassing the limits allowed by the relevant licenses for the concession of simple use of common areas of the seashore and beach (article 12, paragraph c).
- Placing tables, chairs, umbrellas, and sunbeds at a significantly higher density than permitted and within a distance of less than five meters from the coastline (Article 12, paragraph 3).
- Noise pollution caused by excessively loud music surpassing the maximum permissible limit of 50 decibels (Annex 4, paragraph 5).
- Construction of permanent/semi-permanent structures on the seashore and beach, such as floors, masonry, pergolas, and buildings, in violation of the relevant legislation (Annex 1 of the JMD).
- Impeding unhindered access and common use of the coasts through the placement of signs or other means.
- De facto privatization of adjacent beaches by hotel or villa owners, obstructing citizens' access with deterrent signs or fences.
These violations not only infringe upon our right to utilize the public, common goods of the seashore and beach but also undermine our trust in the authorities responsible for upholding the law. According to Article 15 of the JMD no. 38609 EX 2023 (Government Gazette 1432 / B ́ / 10-03-2023), such infractions should result in the unilateral withdrawal of concessions by the State.
We respectfully urge you to fulfil your responsibilities by conducting necessary inspections to prevent further violations and ensure the protection of our island's beaches. Additionally, we emphasize that these actions align with the Council of State's decision (Council of State 3346/1999), which mandates the free and unhindered visit, stay, crossing, and swimming in the common areas of the seashore and beach.
To facilitate your understanding of the situation, we include links to:
- a website showcasing legally approved concessions of coastal areas in 2022 (concessions for 2023 are yet to be signed and published);
- a document presenting cases of possible abuses. The document contains photos depicting possible cases of abuse, accompanied by descriptive text;
- a document revealing inconsistencies in beach and coastline concessions.
We urge you to take prompt action on this issue. By doing so, we can safeguard our valuable public resources and reinforce citizens' confidence in the governance of a state grounded on the rule of law.