NEWS

Bill on beach development hits the rocks

The ruling Socialists came in for considerable embarrassment in Parliament yesterday with many of their own MPs – including the PASOK rapporteur – expressing grave misgivings over a bill on coastal development drafted by the Finance Ministry. Rapporteur Theodoros Kolliopanos said certain articles in the bill, which would determine the circumstances under which beaches and coastal expanses can be given over to private developers, border on perversion. It is unprecedented for the rapporteur on a bill to have well-founded objections to it, Kolliopanos told Deputy Finance Minister Apostolos Fotiadis, the only MP present to defend his ministry’s bill. You must make changes, for otherwise we will be in trouble. Former minister Theodoros Pangalos said the Attila-style bill would allow all sorts of illegal uses of beaches, which under current legislation must always be open to public access. Do we really want to end up with beaches fenced with barbed wire and a doorman selling tickets, he asked? The seafront constitutes an integral part of a Greek’s soul. The bill is being reconsidered.