Lawyers lobby against beach rental decision

The Athens Bar Association (ABA) yesterday appealed to the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, to overturn a ministerial decision allowing coastal municipalities to rent out strips of beach as long as they give the central government 20 percent of their takings. According to Greek law, public access to the seashore should be free of charge, as the country’s beaches are «communal assets» and should be non-negotiable, the ABA said. The association also expressed concern about the possible damaging impact of the decision. «It does not foresee the protection of beaches as vulnerable ecosystems and it negates… citizens’ rights to freely access them,» it added. The ministerial decision has been criticized by the Technical Chamber of Greece and conservation groups including WWF Hellas.