Elliniko wants free beaches

Municipal officials in the suburb of Elliniko, south of Athens, yesterday called on the government to crack down on nightclubs operating on local beaches and to grant local authorities the right to operate free beaches in the area. In a joint press conference with members of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), the officials asked for the closure of a row of clubs along the coast which, they say, are operating illegally and which transform much of the area into «a giant car park» on the weekends. They also want the government to raze certain structures that have been built illegally following the demolition last month of the old Fantasia nightclub in Aghios Cosmas. In a related development, the mayor of Elliniko, Christos Kortzidis, yesterday entered the 42nd day of a hunger strike in protest at planned reforms to local government outlined in the government’s new Kallikratis law. Kortzidis, who believes the Kallikratis plan will impoverish his municipality and others, had staged a long hunger strike in 2007 to champion free access to local beaches.