Country has two months to bring law in line with EU directives
Just as the weather starts to hint at summer, Brussels has given Portugal a ‘beach concessions’ ultimatum.
The country has two months to bring legislation governing the allocation of concessions into line with EU law.
Right now, under Portuguese law, people/ families who have held beach concessions for years receive “the right of preference” – meaning it is well nigh impossible for newcomers to break into this niche market.
Beach concessions can involve just offering watersports/ sun-loungers/ café facilities and ice-creams or all these services rolled into one.
They are like gold dust – and, in the summer months, they earn those holding them small fortunes.
But the way Portugal ‘chooses’ who ‘wins’ these concessions is ‘all wrong’ in the eyes of Brussels – and cannot continue.
According to the Commission, the preferential right in favour of ‘historic operators’ is a disincentive to other businesses situated in other Member States.
To be fair, it is a disincentive to other businesses in Portugal, too.
It’s unclear what will happen if the government ‘fails to make the two-month deadline’.
Beach concessions tend to start operating in May, so whatever happens in two months time may be academic for the awarding of concessions for this summer.