Πέμπτη 25.07.2024 ΚΕΡΚΥΡΑ

Unanimous approval for free access to Mon Repos beach but with night security

Mon Repos
30 Μαΐου 2024 / 10:38

CORFU. The entire Municipal Council unanimously supported the associations΄ request - The next step is the consultation between the Municipality, the responsible business and the associations regarding the schedule for free access.

The non-negotiable right of access to the leased beach at Mon Repos was discussed at the recent meeting of the Central Corfu Municipal Council. The proposal was presented by Yiannis Borbotis, the head of the Laiki Sispirosi party, while all the members of the public and residents' associations with the same request were present.

As is well known, beaches and coastal zones are legally designated as public spaces and are leased to professionals only for lawful use and exploitation (e.g., refreshment stands, umbrellas, and sun loungers) without altering the right of access, which must always remain unobstructed and free.

Following the proposal by the Laiki Sispirosi, representatives from the group 'Mon Repos, beloved beach of the Corfiots,' Anemomylos Cultural Society, Garitsa Association, the Social Environmental Initiative, and the Friends of Vidos Association made their statements.

Lessee in agreement

The legal representative of the lessee, Aristides Dellartas, clarified the leasing status. With a contract signed in 2016 for ten years, the business has been leased not only the right to exploit the beach but also the facilities, such as a refreshment stand, changing rooms, and toilets. Access to the beach has so far been free, but only during the business’s operating hours.

However, he stated that the business is willing to cooperate with the Municipality and the associations, agreeing jointly on operating hours and simultaneously ensuring the area is monitored to prevent potential illegal activities during nighttime hours.

"Nothing that currently applies and concerns those present bears our signature," stated the Mayor of Central Corfu, Stefanos Poulimenos. "Moreover, we consider the right of access to the beach inviolable and non-negotiable—and this applies to all beaches. We will defend this right by any means necessary," he declared.

All parties unanimously agreed with the associations' request for free access.

Jetty study ready

The second part of the discussion focused on the picturesque, beloved jetty, which has suffered significant damage, succumbing to the ravages of time. As Liana Vrachlioti from the group 'Mon Repos, beloved beach of the Corfiots' pointed out, their historical research disproved the belief that the platform had licensing issues, as it was constructed in 1937, before the relevant law was enacted in 1940.

Some work was carried out last winter to prevent the collapse of a specific section, although use of the platform was still not permitted. The platform was temporarily supported until the necessary technical study could be completed to restore its stability and safety and make it accessible to bathers.

The Municipality's technical programme includes a budget of 6,000 euros for the preparation of the study to restore the wooden structure, which has been completed, as the Deputy Mayor for Technical Services, Andreas Kardonas, stated.

In concluding the matter, the presenter Yiannis Borbotis requested that any agreement between the Municipality and the business include the consent of the associations, a proposal that was unanimously accepted by all municipal council members.

CHRISTINA GEREKOU