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Society

Defiant Rhodes Beach Business Owner Arrested for Unlawful Occupation

June 9, 2024

PHODES – The manager of the Santa Marina beach bar on the island of Rhodes, who had unlawfully set up the business and umbrellas and sunbeds for rent on a public beach, was arrested after he resumed operation after it was sealed off.

He wasn’t identified but reports said he was to be tried over the business that included putting 19 metal structures in the water where waiters had to wade through to bring drinks and food to customers.

After complaints came through a new cell phone app identifying beaches that have been taken over by private businesses, authorities shut down the bar and business and put up tape sealing it off, but two hours later it was removed and business resumed.

It was the second year the business had been cited and officials also said it’s on an archaeological site that’s supposed to be protected and doesn’t have a lease as is required, and which are supposed to limit businesses to 50 percent of beaches.

Even that, however, violates the Greek Constitution stipulating that all beaches are public and they must have access, but that has been ignored by successive governments leasing space and luxury resorts taking over public beaches.

The New Democracy administration said it would clamp down but is welcoming more beachfront and resort investors and many beaches in the country, especially on the islands, are filled with businesses, some said trying to keep out the public.

The manager of the Rhodes business was fined 28,560 euros ($30,856) but it wasn’t said if that was paid, how much it was compared to profits being taken in, if taxes had been paid or whether the unlawful business would be allowed to run again.

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