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In the future, at least 70 per cent of the area on Greek beaches must be free of sunbeds. Image: Adobe Stock

Sunbed limit on Greek beaches

Greece plans to restrict the number of sun loungers on at least 70 per cent of beaches, the government has announced.

In the fight against the excesses of mass tourism, Greece has passed a new law: stricter rules for beaches. In future, the majority of the area on every beach is to remain free of sunbeds.

The law will come in to force before the summer season and, according to the government, will be strictly enforced. The authorities are pursuing two goals with the new regulations: better access to the coasts and more order on the beaches.

There are different requirements depending on the beach

The regulation is not the same on all beaches. In protected areas, 85 per cent of the beach area must be free of deckchairs. To ensure easy access to the water, sun-seekers must also keep a minimum distance of four metres between sun loungers and the sea.

The requirement will be even stricter on the so-called «inviolable beaches», which are of particular ecological value: deckchairs will be completely prohibited there. On all other beaches, at least 70 per cent of the area must remain free.The new law also stipulates that at least half of the beaches must remain open to the public. This is to prevent parasols and bars from taking up too much space.

In recent years, there have been increasing concerns that beaches are being monopolised by hotels and beach companies which restricts public access. According to Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, concessions for leases will now be awarded via online auctions. This measure is intended to prevent cronyism and encourage transparency.

Mitsotakis went on to explain that anyone who acquires a licence also has special obligations and responsibilities to keep the beaches clean, provide access for people with disabilities, and hire lifeguards. The law will be enforced with inspections and fines. If these conditions are breached, leases will be revoked.