Brit hols islands face sunbed crackdown as ‘Towel Movement’ campaign gets hundreds of beach loungers scrapped | The Sun

POPULAR holiday islands in Greece are facing a crackdown on sunbeds after the "Towel Movement" campaign has declared war.

The sunbed battle started on the island of Paros in the Cyclades after fed-up locals reported not being able to secure a spot at beaches as they were occupied by loungers.

The initiative Save Paros Beaches was launched in protest of the excessive spread of sunbeds and members protested at a beach with banners and towels in hand.

Residents even reported being barred from beaches by businesses after refusing to pay for a lounger.

As a result, three businesses in Santa Maria Beach have already closed, getting hundreds of sunbeds scrapped after the country's top prosecutor ordered an investigation, in response to the complaints.

Officials from the Syros Land Registry found violations and immediately ordered the removal of loungers from the beach.

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Speaking to broadcaster ERT, the mayor of Paros, Markos Kovaios, said: "The problem is real. We want to solve it and we will not allow any arbitrariness to exist on our island. 

"We are checking the businessmen for possible illegal occupation of part of the beach, the relevant expert reports have been sent to the State Real Estate Company, the agency to which all Greek beaches belong."

Minister of Economy and Finance, Kostis Hatzidakis pledged to increase inspections to find beach bar violations.

He added: "We are not going to favour anyone."

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Meanwhile, the representative of the Citizens' Movement of Paros Christos Georgousis reported being kicked out of a beach after he refused to pay for a sunbed while pointing out that some businesses even employ bouncers.

Asked about the cost of sunbeds in Santa Maria beach, he replied that the sunbeds at the back could start at £35 (€40) and the ones at the front could reach £100 (€120).

The Citizens' Movement of Paros argues that business activities are ruining the island while locals are being left with limited space to enjoy the beach.

The group said in a previous statement: "We claim our right to public space, our right to enjoy our beaches that are encroached upon by greedy, socially irresponsible businessmen who occupy beaches in their entirety or exceed their limits by up to 100 times the area they legally lease."

The declaration of the sunbed wars started in Paros but similar initiatives have started to form in other islands including Rhodes, Naxos and Serifos.

A different war has erupted in Spain where tourists and locals fight over beach loungers.

Spanish council chiefs have said they will get tough with repeat offenders after photos emerged of locals trying to beat Brit tourists to prime spots by setting up sunbeds in the middle of the night.

And a man was filmed sprinting for the sunbeds at a Spanish resort before dumping five towels down as others scrambled for a space.

While a Brit filmed scenes described as a "worst nightmare" when holidaymakers in Majorca rushed to grab sun loungers for a day by the pool.

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