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Friday, 16 September 2016

Notes from Spain – Parasol wars

Fine weather for summer – that’s why there are a lot of fines being dished out, perhaps…

Fines?  Yes, authorities around Spain are fining folk who use parasols to establish a claim on sections of beach, much like those folk who ‘reserve’ sun-loungers at hotel pool areas.

Apparently, every day as dawn breaks, individuals troop down as close to the water’s edge as possible and erect their parasols (and sometimes with chairs, tables and even cooler boxes). Then they go back to their holiday chalets, hotels or wherever for some hours, secure in the knowledge they’ve secured a prime spot for when they do eventually turn up.

 Wikipedia commons

War has been declared on this selfish practice. New bylaws have been implemented or existing laws are being rigorously enforced in several coastal towns. Local police have been known to remove the items that turn a public space into a private space. Recovery of umbrellas removed can cost 30 euros.

Where fines are applicable, they can run to between 150 and 720 euros. Though finding the owners of the umbrellas does pose a problem: the offending umbrella owner considers he or she is better off abandoning it and buying another, rather than paying a fine!

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