Athens Bar Association: State’s duty to protect coast

The Athens Bar Association recently handed out information leaflets to citizens stating that, according to Law 2971/2001, «the coast and beaches are considered to be zones of the ecosystem and the state must take steps to protect them. In addition, access to these zones should be free and unhindered. As an exception, the zones can be used for environmental and cultural purposes to benefit the public and serve other state interests.» What state interests or public benefit the pay beaches, nightclubs, restaurants and bars serve is another issue. Unfortunately, the commercialization of the Attica coast has been initiated by state bodies, such as the Tourism Development Board and the General Secretariat for Sports that lease out areas to private enterprises.