Temperatures have been reaching 35 degrees in Italy, but beachgoers had nowhere to hide from the sun, as thousands of private beaches closed their parasols in protest against new EU rules.
As of 2016 EU beaches will be subject to public auction as part of the ‘Bolkestein Directive’ which aims to open up the market.
In Italy 30,000 private beaches have benefited from six year licenses which are renewed automatically. With 60,000 workers likely to be affected by the changes, they are concerned about the future.
“We don’t want big investor groups on the beaches, we defend our bathing establishments, there are 30,000 families working in this business, we have loans and debts to pay,” said one worker.
Their fears are bolstered by flagging figures on the shores. The beach workers union says numbers were down by anything between five and 40 percent from last year in June and July, as Italians try to save money on holidays.