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Changes Or Not We'll Have To See

Agios (Saint) Stephanos, Corfu

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Bob and Wendy View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Changes Or Not We'll Have To See
    Posted: 29 Oct 2013 at 8:40am
Well, that's got your attention.
All the shore front tavernas and bars have been given notice to remove all their jetties as well as all their permanent buildings that are now on what was once beach. Thereby returning the beach to the 15 meters clearance above high water.
But, of course there's a BUT.
Or pay a huge fine.
I wonder if this directive applies to all other resorts?
We await developments with interest.
This idea was trundled about last year, with just a couple of tavernas and a bar mentioned, but this year its got a bit heavier and includes all beachfront properties.
Bob
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Oct 2013 at 9:43am
What a load of twaddle. Where do they expect the boats to moor that bring business to the resort???
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Oct 2013 at 12:35pm
This one has been rolling around for a while, if I remember correctly.
 
The argument goes along the lines that all of the buildings are illegal, since they are too close to the waters edge (I can't remember what the allowable distance is).  However, since the local council charges a licence fee (no doubt, substantial) to allow these businesses to operate as they do, then the licence fees are, equally, illegal.
 
So, if fines are levied (on the basis that much of the business will not exist if the setting is destroyed) surely the businesses can demand repayment of the licence fees?
 
Sound like fund raising by the council to me!
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Oct 2013 at 4:20pm
Martyn, I understand its the government this time, I'll have a heart to heart tomorrow with Costa when we see him.
Bob.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Oct 2013 at 5:46pm
OK - so fund raising by the Government!
 
Pass on our regards to all
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Oct 2013 at 6:38pm
Is fund raising the same as blackmail?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Oct 2013 at 10:25am
We'll be interested to hear what Costa has to say. That would surely take a lot of the heart out of the village. It's been one of the attractions for us over the last 15 years or so. We know there's a fair bit of space in the for-real buildings, but not quite the same. More news please!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Oct 2013 at 10:30am
Bob
 
The simple answer is yes (esp when Governments are involved)
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Oct 2013 at 10:31am
David
 
I think that you are right about it ripping the heart out of the village.  That said, I do remember it before all any of the awnings etc were errected.
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Oct 2013 at 2:34pm
Good grief. That would change the nature of the village entirely. Much of the charm of Ag Steph is eating on the edge of the sea and watching the yachts coming in and boats mooring on the jetties. I imagine that economically the tourist trade here with its upmarket villas and more expensive tavernas contributes a significant proportion of the island's income. Should the village be changed that trade would go elsewhere. It may be the council or government raising money in the short term but in the longer term the potential is for much more money to be lost. How shortsighted. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Oct 2013 at 11:07am
Agreed, Corfu Dreamer. We haven't been coming as long as you, Martyn, but we have seen pictures. It's one of the things we fell in love with when we first arrived in the village some years ago, coming over the top of the hill in the dark, seeing the little ring of lights and then eating at the water's edge. We haven't found anywhere finer in Corfu. We might have to re-think if this happens - we've been saying for years that we ought to look at different islands / countries for our autumn holiday but haven't been able to give up Ag Steph so far.
We'll keep watching this space.
Yammas, David
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Oct 2013 at 11:26am
This is what I have been told.
What is happening all over Greece is a direct result of a decision made by the EU some years ago, because Greece sort of did'nt comply when they should have, a massive fine was imposed.
Each of the tavernas/bars that contravene the regulation individually face fines ranging upwards from 20,000euros depending on their size.
They must also remove all the offending jetties and permanent structures deemed illegal on the beach.
There is confusion as to how far from the sea they must be. Some say 15metres (the old public right of way) others are quoting 30metres.
They will be allowed to erect umbrellas in place of their present structures, but they must all be the same colour specified by the authorities, without any writing or advertising. The colour for San Stephanos has not been decided yet. No mention was made as to what seats- tables-tablecloths could be used, I wonder if they must all be the same as well, all along the beach.
Tavernas will be allowed to provide floating pontoons reached by some sort of gangplank, however, this arrangement is complicated by how these will be used and regulated. It seems that the boat hirers will not be allowed to provide pontoons or jetties. So I can't imagine how they will survive. I suspect its going to be a bit of a scrum for all concerned.
Who is going to remove the little fishermans jetties I wonder, and then what?

Now, what has happened so far is that Damiano has removed his jetty, and also taken a chainsaw to his structure and sent it off on a lorry.
I couldn't see if the Wave Bar jetty was also removed, but heard it was planned to do so.

As you can imagine its all doom and gloom.

This regulation also applies all over Greece, so Agni, Kalami, Kerassia are all directly affected.

Martyn, I wonder how Babis at Spartahori will manage, what about the long jetty at Kalamaki, without that its impossible for caiquies to land their passengers for the beach BBQ.

Might be worth setting up a floating pontoon manufacturing company.

Bob
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Oct 2013 at 12:00pm
Thanks, Bob
 
Truely scary.
 
The "structure" at Spartahori is, of course, a floating pontoon.
 
This is going to destroy (or seriously hamper) a number of businesses for a variety of reasons.  I guess the only boat hire company in Stephanos which might be able to operate is Yannis - at least he has access to a harbour wall!
 
I'm also having sudden concerns about our May sailing holiday - certain members of my crew will have trouble getting ashore by dinghy, which is going to remove a number of destinations from the intinery.  In fact, if the flights hadn't already been booked, I might be tempted to cancel.
 
Not sure what the "regulation" in question is, but presumaby this has something to do with the dreaded "health 'n' safety.
 
I do so hate the EU.
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Oct 2013 at 4:39pm
I imagine, like many of the rules sent down from Brussels, it was aimed at an entirely different problem, but ends up doing more harm than good somewhere else.
As we plan to be out there in time for Easter next year, I will give you the latest info then. You'll just have to remind me, you know how forgetful I am.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Nov 2013 at 9:40am
Look forward to hearing at Easter, Bob, as we plan our autumn trip (or not).
As for BBQs at Kalamaki, I guess they won't be able to have their caique and eat it!
Yammas, David
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Nov 2013 at 11:46am
David, I think it's time for you to collect your coat!Smile
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Nov 2013 at 11:48am
I'm now considering making a quick trip in April, to see how things are likely to work out.
 
Well, that's my excuse, anyway!
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Nov 2013 at 2:10pm
I wonder what other villages are experiencing. Can you imagine this happening at Agni? It would be decimated. Those three tavernas have thriving businesses and there is nothing else there. Very worrying.
We too are planning on coming over again at Easter, bringing friends to show them the places that we love - although realising that they are very different out of season. We shall bring a camera and post some photos.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Nov 2013 at 4:34pm
We are here for another couple of weeks, so any fresh developments will be posted here.
Obviously, all that I am told is not necessarily gospel. So take on board that I am repeating hearsay.
However, what I actually see with my own eyes is another matter.
And yes my understanding us that it includes all places on beach fronts.
I wonder if all those posh Italian and French Reviera hotels with their private bit of beach will also have to conform with all their umbrellas identical?
Going down to Kaparelli tonight, it's Costas' last night. I'll see if anything else has happened.
Bob
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Nov 2013 at 5:53pm
I understand that The Wave Bar has also removed its jetty.
 
Love to Costas and everyone.
 
Martyn
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