Dear Mr. Mayor and Members of the Town Council.
It was with some despair that I read that the decision has been made approving beds and umbrellas for Livadhi tou Yeranou and Lambi. I am sure there have been people complaining that they too, should have the right to profit from Patmos's beaches along with those who are already doing so, and very sure that the municipality could use the money from the auctions.
But I beg you to reconsider....especially what will be lost.
Patmos is in the group of "unspoiled" islands including Symi, Sifnos, Lipsi, Xalki Leros etc., vs the mass tourism islands of Mykonos, Kos, Rhodes, Corfu, and so on. This is the very quality that brings people here....the friendliness of the people, the natural beauty and the mixed use nature of the environment (while the monastery is a asset from the tourism point of view, I doubt that more than 10% of overnight visitors come only to see the monastery).
By mixed use I mean the restricted night life of Hora vs the open night life of Skala, the availability of a luxury hotel but also excellent rooms for rent, moderately expensive high quality restaurants along with inexpensive tavernas. Above all, beaches for children with umbrellas and beds, and unspoiled, totally open beaches for those who wish peace and quiet, away from babies, radios and racquet ball. Just nature at its best.
Patmos is a model in this respect. Moving away from it runs great risks in that by losing its unspoiled nature we move towards the direction of the over developed islands, but we lack the infrastructure to support over development....dense town areas, airport, massive 300-500 bed hotels, a heavy night life district, drug scene and heavy police presence.
Clearly umbrellas on Yeranos and Lambi will not do all of that, but it is a move in the wrong direction and sends a signal to those many visitors who are looking for peace and quiet for whom Patmos would be high on the list.
Two or three private individuals might profit from the concessions, the municipality might take in the modest auction price, but it is definitely a step backward for the island, selling Patmos' heritage and future for very short term and very limited sums of money.