The first checks with drones started from the beaches of Halkidiki


-Four ways to control new concessions
From Halkidiki, the first drone checks have started in order to detect possible violations in existing concessions on the seashore and beaches. The first drones flights were carried out yesterday at the beaches “Pefkohori” and “Polychrono” in the Halkidiki area, as these beaches are gathering an increased number of complaints.

The information gathered from the inspections is sent to the relevant land services for analysis and then for the necessary measures to be taken, where necessary. Controls for the observance of legality on beaches and shores will continue at an intensive pace in the coming period. The first 30 drone flights to assist the work of the auditors are expected to be carried out gradually over the next period, both on new beach concessions and old ones with active contracts throughout Greece.

At the same time, the procedures for the new beach and seashore concessions under the new framework recently enacted by the Ministry of National Economy and Finance are running at a rapid pace. The Ministry’s new strategy includes strict rules and intensive controls aimed at ensuring free access to beaches for citizens, the transparent use of public property, the protection of the environment, the upgrading of the tourism product and the respect and safety of bathers.

Four ways to control

In addition to the use of drones, the new strategy of the Ministry of Economy and Finance provides for controls in three other ways:

  • By taking satellite images. The relevant procedure as well as the measurement for any violation/exceedance in orthophotomap is foreseen in the framework of the cooperation of the control mechanisms with the University of the Aegean. The data will be sent to the competent land authorities and will be entered in the register of digital contracts. For the satellite images the Ministry also cooperates with the Ministry of Digital Governance and the Hellenic Space Centre.
  • With the contribution of citizens: Through the free MyCoast digital app, citizens can see the details and terms of each contract and file a complaint if they find violations.
  • By means of mixed teams of inspectors: An integrated audit mechanism is being created, with mixed teams as well as joint audit teams of officials from the Ministry of National Economy and Finance, the Real Estate Service, the municipality, the Municipality, the AADE, the Economic Police, the National Police, the National Police and the prosecution authorities. The municipalities also have audit powers.

New concessions system

It is recalled that the new procedure for concessions is in full swing and is now exclusively carried out through the special digital platform ( By 31 May, the entire electronic auction for more than 1,200 concessions is expected to be posted. At the same time, there are 6,500 active contracts and 6,500 active contracts as well as high protection beaches and beaches (“remote beaches”) located in Natura areas where the concession and consequently the placement of umbrellas, sunbeds, etc. is prohibited.

New Rules and Obligations

Note that all beaches, with new or existing concessions, will have the same regulations and the same framework of controls and fines for possible infringements from this year. The new picture will be fully in place by the end of June, when the relevant procedures for setting up the new concessionaires will have been completed.

No concession is allowed where the length or width of the seashore and beach is less than 4 metres or where the total area is less than 150 sq m. In addition, concessionaires are required to ensure that:

  • at least 50% of the beach is left free and the area of each concession does not exceed 500 square metres,
  • umbrella stands may occupy up to 60% of the concession or 30% for beaches located in Natura areas that have not been designated as remote,
  • there must be a distance of at least 6 metres between concessions (3 metres on each side, or 4 metres in the case of businesses with adjacent buildings). Umbrella stands must be at least 4 metres from the sea for new concessions,
  • the public shall have free, unobstructed and safe passage with special provisions for disabled persons,
  • the site shall be kept clean, taking care to maintain the balance of the ecosystem and the morphology of the coast, and shall be returned to its original state at the end of the concession,
  • a sign shall be displayed in a prominent place giving details of the concession,
  • movable elements shall be installed for the convenience of the public,
  • there is a lifeguard (if not covered by the municipality concerned for new concessions).


Penalties vary depending on the gravity of the infringement and in particular whether there is a contract and the concessionaire has exceeded the concession or not, in which case it is an unauthorised occupation. In any case, umbrellas and sunbeds are removed and illegal structures are demolished. In more detail, the following are provided for:

  • Unauthorized occupation: sealing and closure of the business in the occupied area is imposed, the area is sealed with tape and entry and any economic activity in it is prohibited. A fine equal to four times the price of the concession is imposed and the offender is excluded from any concession procedure for five years.
  • Exceeding the concession: penalties range from fines to a ban on participation in auctions and the suspension of the business. More specifically, the most severe penalties (exclusion from new concessions and suspension of operation) are imposed when the excess is more than 30% of the concession (instead of 50% as originally foreseen).
  • Obstructing free public access to the sea, the coast and the beach: fines of between €2,000 and €60,000 are foreseen.
  • Alterations to the environment (with or without a permit or in excess of a permit or with a permit issued illegally): criminal penalties are foreseen.

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