The pleasure of enjoying an ice-cold drink at a beach-bar on a hot day is one reason so many people come to Spain every year. But in future tourists with parched throats may just have to walk further, or go without that refreshing beer thanks to Spain’s notorious Ley de Costas (Coastal Law), which threatens many of Spain’s beach bars, or ‘chiringuitos’, as they are known.
Introduced in 1988, the Ley de Costas nationalised the entire Spanish coast, confiscating all homes and business located on or very close to the beach. Home owners have been up in arms ever since, but now the Spanish press reports that many of Andalucia’s 800 chiringuitos -400 of them on the Costa del Sol – are also under threat.
At least 50% of Andalucia’s chiringuitos are operating without a concession from the Coastal Department of the national Ministry of the Environment, reveals a recent article. Most of them are operating with a temporary permit whilst waiting for a 15 year concession to be granted, but 25% of the total are doing business after concessions have expired.
Local chiringuito owners complain that the legal limbo they find themselves in is starting to become unbearable. But the Coastal Department has made it clear that, just like private homes, it would like to see them removed from the beach.