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Free camping has consequences

15 August 2014 / 12:08:29  GRReporter
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Representatives of both the local authorities and business are exerting pressure on the local police forces to chase free campers away from their areas. As policemen state for "Kathimerini" newspaper, the local communities do not approve of the presence of campers, not only because of the various problems they create, but also because of the financial losses that those dealing with tourism believe to have been incurring. "Free camping is illegal and what we do is to apply the law. Of course, this is not the biggest problem with crime in the area but sometimes there are serious objections from local operators", comments a Greek police officer. The authorities have recently carried out two operations to send away the free campers.

Last Saturday morning, the police carried out an operation on many campers’ favourite island - Samothrace. The inspections, which were concentrated in areas like Gria Vatra and Varades, checked 90 people, including 70 Greeks and 20 foreigners, and fined 47 of them for illegal tents. Two days earlier the authorities had carried out such inspections in Sithonia, Halkidiki, in the coastal areas of Tristinika, Porto Koufo, Aretes, Azapiko, Stiladario and Kastro Toronis and checked 105 people, including 70 foreigners, as well as 80 vehicles, verifying 57 violations. According to the official police reports, the operations will continue.

"We had campers in previous years too but their number is much higher this year, as a result of which there are many complaints and problems. Campers leave a lot of waste and we have many complaints about pollution. The picture as a whole is not pleasant as someone goes to see the waterfalls but sees instead someone soaping himself and bathing near them. Our prices are generally very affordable, there is an organized campsite right next to the sea. We support alternative tourism, but not such a situation in which everyone can do whatever he or she wants," Samothrace Mayor George Hanos told "Kathimerini" newspaper.

Tags: Free campingProblemsFinancial lossesPolice
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