Article from IOS newspaper, issue 306 – July, August, September 2018
ONLY REQUEST: ACCESS TO ALL BEACHES
Tourism in Greece and especially in Nio remains a healthy sector of the economy and is constantly growing. Both the economic recovery of the country and the future of the island are based on its development. The prospects for the summer of 2018 are more than auspicious.
The tourist infrastructure of the island is improving.
New investment initiatives are on the horizon and interest in the island is growing.
Recently, nature tourism is being attracted, an effort is being made to restore and mark the old paths and to make Nios a pole of attraction for different visitors. More “ecologists”, more “wanted”. With greater interest in the natural environment of the island but also its protection.
And yet, in this development comes a new trend to be a brake: In recent years, significant coastal areas have been sold to a number of investors. Some of the buyers are interested in using them with tourism businesses and others as private homes. However, most of them unfortunately make it difficult or even exclude access to the coast, to ordinary citizens, permanent residents, vacationers or even visitors to our island.
This practice has been realized and is not approved by the most prudent residents of Nios. There are some who depend on personal interests of these investors and unreservedly accept the blockade of the beaches: such a practice.
I invite the businessmen of the island to think about how many beaches it will be possible to send their customers in a few years. Year after year, more and more beaches of the island are “erased” from the map of accessibility. In the end, there will be few left and one of the most important motivations of the tourist to visit the island will disappear: The wonderful, many and freely accessible beaches.
As a lawyer, I must remind you that Greece has acceded (with Article 1 of Law 855/1978) to the Barcelona International Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Areas of the Mediterranean. From 2011 with the with no. 2009/89 / EC Decision of the Council of the European Union enters into force the “Protocol for the integrated management of the Mediterranean coastal zones”. Under this legal framework, the Contracting Parties must take appropriate measures to facilitate public access to the sea and along the coast, to keep the areas open and to promote integrated management and the reduction of economic pressures.
The Municipality of Ieton has a powerful legal arsenal, if it decides, as it should, to intervene to ensure free access to all, without exception, the beaches of the island. It has already expressed its intention to take care of the old paths that guarantee accessibility. However, it should also contribute to the creation of a ring road, which will improve the connection of all areas of the island and will facilitate accessibility to all parts of Aegialos. The Association of Sailors, always aware of issues of environmental protection of the island, and without ever having selfish motives, will show its full support to the Municipality, in all its efforts to ensure access to the coast, to all citizens.
Michalis G. Mersinis