The popular restaurant terraces on the beaches of Valencia, or chiringuitos, will soon be a thing of the past. In compliance with a new law regulating coastal areas, restaurants have a choice: close up their terraces or pay a prohibitively high fee to keep them open.
It’s caused controversy here. Restaurants stand to lose a lot of business, and beach goers won’t have the option to enjoy lunch on a terrace. Particularly at Malvarrosa, where the restaurants are about 150 meters from the water, it seems egregious.
Add this to recent regulations that ban people from playing music, drinking, playing ball, or bringing dogs to the beach, and you can’t help but think lawmakers just don’t want anyone to have fun. Yes, coasts and beaches need protection, but it can’t be done at the price of destroying tourism. You can’t eat outside, you can’t play paddle ball… If no one wants to go the beach anymore, who’s going to care about preserving it?
Protests are still ongoing, and it looks like an arrangement allows them to stay open for the first part of 2010, so I kind of doubt this matter is completely settled. Does anyone know more about it?