Greeks Can’t Afford Their Beaches

ATHENS – Many Greek families can’t afford to go to the beach – many of which are covered with private and unlawful resorts charging people as much as 25 euros ($33.65) each a day to use public property in some cases.

A day trip to one of Attica’s organized beaches has become almost prohibitively expensive, according to a report from consumer group EKPOIZO, which estimates that the cost for a four-member family ranges from 30-60 euros, or about $40-$80.

Entrance starts at 4 euros ($5.38) for the Attiki Akti Vouliagmeni beach and reaches 25 euros at the Asteras beach complex.

A couple with two children aged between 6 and 12 must pay 16 euros ($21.54) to visit Attiki Akti and 76 euros ($102.32) for access to the sea at Asteras.

The average cost for a family visiting an organized beach in Attica is 37.60 euros ($50.62) while for two people the average expense is 22.75 euros ($30.63).

While almost no municipal swimming pools in an urban area of more than three million people, Greeks have to turn to the sea for comfort in the summer.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, under pressure from critics and environmentalists, is revising a bill that would have further allowed development on public beaches, reducing public access even more to benefit private companies.