Beach establishments in Italy

Coalition reaches agreement on beach establishments

Business News

The government coalition reached an agreement on the liberalization of Italy’s beach establishments. It is part of the reforms pledged by Italy in exchange for EU grants and low-interest loans.

The ruling coalition on Thursday reached an agreement with its supporters on liberalisation of Italy’s beach establishments. It had been causing considerable tension within the coalition.

The liberalisation is part of reforms Italy has pledged to deliver in exchange for almost €200 billion in EU grants and low-interest loans for its post-COVID National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP).

Competitive contracts for beach bars and restaurants

The EU says the contracts to run lucrative beach bars and restaurants that rent out sun loungers and offer other facilities should be put out for tender. Currently, they are automatically rolled over to the existing holder.

Establishments like these occupy most of the best parts of Italy’s shoreline. The Commission has said this system has hampered competition. Furthermore, the State has gained little in terms of revenue from a public resource that has been put into private hands.

Related article: Beach establishments under scrutiny by Brussels

The government has said tenders will be used to allocate the concessions by the end of 2023. However, Berlusconi’s centre-right Forza Italia and the right-wing League had been calling for this to be postponed.

Finally, the government has agreed the tenders for concessions in which there is a legal dispute or there are other problems drafting the tender can be delayed until the end of 2024 at the latest.

The issue of compensation for the people who lose their concessions will be addressed in a separate enabling act.

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