South Corfu Natura Protection Association: Beaches accessible to all
CORFU. The mobile canteen was removed due to the local community’s opposition to decisions made without its knowledge.
The President of the Association for the Protection of Natura Areas in South Corfu Leonidas Pagratis said that the residents' reactions to the placement of a mobile canteen, which would destroy the natural beauty of the beach, led to the withdrawal of the decision by the Municipality.
This was the first success of the fight of the citizens' movement in Argyrades, while signatures will also be collected against the placement of sunbeds and umbrellas.
Statement from Leonidas Pagratis:
The South Corfu Municipality took the wrong decision to lease part of the beautiful Ai Giorgis beach at Melissi and placed there a mobile canteen on 4 June, thus altering the beach, which is a quiet place, usually enjoyed by families and visitors who want to relax.
The residents of the area reacted quickly, demanding the self-evident, i.e. to preserve this pristine area, since this is what the majority of the community wanted. The Municipality, due to the pressure from the citizens apparently, changed its decision as the canteen was removed after a few days.
This shows how local communities should act when decisions are being taken without their knowledge. Let us hope that our Municipality’s neighbouring communities will follow this example, since there are many violations being made on their beaches which the authorities are ignoring. Some disagree with our criticism and others are indifferent to the way their beaches are being used, which does not respect the environment and specifically the protected areas in the name of ‘development’.
This kind of exploitation of these beaches will certainly make the residents and their families unable to access them in the future. And if the state and some businesspeople want to profit from the leasing of our beaches, something I personally am totally opposed to, so be it. But should they not also respect the laws that the state itself has established?
On the contrary, the tourist accommodation owners of Ai Giorgis disagreed with the Municipality's decision and joined the rest of the residents because they want their beach to continue to aim at people of a different quality.
This is the first success of the fight of the citizens' movement in Argyrades. The fight will continue with the collection of signatures in order to say another 'No', this time to the placement of sunbeds and umbrellas on our beach, which the Mayor is trying to impose on us despite our opposition that we expressed on 25 May in our meeting. There are already several sunbeds from other businesses nearby. We want the rest of the beach to be free and accessible to all - to the residents of Argyrades, to our visitors and to the caretta caretta that visit us every year to lay their eggs.
Let’s protect it in every way possible.
Leonidas Pagratis, President of the Association for the Protection of Natura Areas in South Corfu and resident of Ai Giorgis