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Greece Turns to AI to Combat Luxury Resort Encroachment on Public Beaches

ATHENS – As Greece continues to court luxury resorts encroaching on public beachfronts, the New Democracy government announces plans to deploy Artificial Intelligence (AI) to identify businesses engaging in such practices.

Despite constitutional violations, successive governments, including the current one, permit businesses to lease up to 50% of public beaches. This leniency has emboldened many enterprises to exceed their allotted space, effectively privatizing entire beaches and restricting access to paying customers only.

Luxury resorts, particularly along the Athens coastline, have capitalized on this loophole, charging exorbitant fees for access to public beaches. Meanwhile, smaller businesses face government scrutiny, prompting protests among Greek locals.

In an effort to curb these violations, the Ministry of Digital Governance will partner with the University of the Aegean to deploy AI and satellite technology to monitor 7,900 beaches nationwide. This initiative, slated to launch in early June, aims to identify lease violations and deter future encroachments.

However, the program will exclusively target leased beaches, leaving unregulated coastal areas vulnerable to exploitation. Despite the introduction of the MyCoast app for public reporting, enforcement remains lax, with no reported penalties issued despite numerous complaints.

With the AI-driven monitoring system set to launch imminently, Greece seeks to reclaim its public beaches and preserve access for all.

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