28 May 2014 17:39

Costal municipalities will soon need to reassess how their beaches are run after a Supreme Court ruling overturned a law that allows beach businesses to operate without renewing their licenses through tenders.
The legislation was found to contravene a 2006 EU directive on services in the internal market that states lawmakers in Member States must liberate a number of sectors in the tourism industry including beach and water sports.
According to Chairman of the Central Beaches Committee and Polis Mayor Angelos Odisseos, the licences given to beach operators will expire on October 31 after which municipalities will either operate their own beaches or award the task to businesses in the private sector through a tender process.
The mayor said some municipalities may decide to handle their own beach bed and umbrella rentals, such as is the case in Paralimni, but the most likely scenario is that tenders will be launched for water sports businesses.
"Such businesses are too specialised to be handled by local authorities and the cost of acquiring the equipment such as speedboats, parachutes and jet skis is not economically feasible at present."
He confirmed that the committee will meet again on May 30 to discuss the matter.  
Last July, the plenum chose to postpone voting on the law that was recently overturned after water sports operators staged a two-day strike outside Parliament.
The Water Sports Facilities Owners Association said at the time that it would be driven out of business if the law is passed.
One of Cyprus' bailout agreement terms with the Troika was for a reform of regulated professions such as beach businesses.


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