What does the Dutch Royal Family has in common with the Greeks? Fairly nothing – except maybe some old odd blood relations with the former Greek royal family which Greeks decided to send to a private home long long time ago. So how can the Royal House Oranje serve the Greek public interest? I can answer right away: I have no clue and no idea. But the Greek state, inf act 3 of its ministers, decided that if the House Oranje is happy and swims in a private beach then the Greeks’ public interest is served! Even if Holland’s King Willem-Alexander and the private beach right in front of his villa in Ermioni, Peloponnese, prohibit locals from swimming around and enjoy their traditional cheese- and spinach pies at the beach.
Fact is that three Greek ministers issued a decision allowing “at exception of the current laws” King Willem-Alexander to build a private dock and also to fence the beach. Fact is also that Royals are still above the law and have to secure that foot soldiers swim somewhere else.
The Royal Villa and the Royal building illegalities
Back in 2012, the Dutch state invested 5.9 million dollars to buy a summer villa for Willem-Alexander and his family in Kranidi in noble municipality of Ermioni in Peloponnese.
In early summer 2014, locals saw that a private dock was built at the seashore in front of the villa and thus in times when the issue of seashore is a highly political issue and the law prohibits private use of the Greek seashores.
According to newspaper ProtoThema, three ministers had issued a special license for the Durch Royal couple to proceed to some buildings. The ministerial decision signed by the minister of Public Order Dendias, of Maritime Varvitsiotis and the deputy minister of Environment Kalafatis approved the Dutch request of January 8th 2014 citing “public interest.”
Ministerial decision for Royals
“Approved for reasons of public interest and the protection of public order… under exclusion of any general or special legislation.” The ministerial decision approved the installation of a security system and also gave building permit for the installment of fencing and “associate marine works.”
“The ministerial order did not give permit for the building of a private pier though,” notes the newspaper adding that the villa status does not refer to an embassy or consulate building that is considered to be “foreign soil” but a property owned by the Dutch government.
Nevertheless, the royal constructors built in zero time a private dock and a small port, a path to the villa, a small building for the royal sunbeds and the royal security personnel, installed surveillance cameras and prohibition signs and hired security guards who keep a sharp eye to those few daring come close to the royal beach.
Stay away from Royal Beach
A group of Citizens complained about the Royal exemption from the law, the Royal “construction illegalities” and “arbitrariness” and Marias Karras, the president of the Citizens’ Intervention Initiative told Proto Thema:
“The port was constructed over night with the flimsy excuse of providing an easy escape for the King of Holland in case of danger, while the other fortifications were the reasons for the defense of the royal family in case of attack.”
Karras added that it was the sole responsibility of the government that it ignored the laws to please the Royal Dutch and added that “according to the laws, no seashore or part of the sea can be property of another state.”
Anger in Holland
While the issue is for Greeks a matter of “free access to free beaches” for the Dutch is a matter of “public money spending”.
According to Netherlands Times,
the Dutch “Parliament wants clarification from the Cabinet about how much the Dutch state has invested into the Greek vacation villa of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima. Local media claims that “illegal building” occurred on the grounds, bought by the Dutch state.
The RVD says that the Greek government gave permission to the national counter-terrorism coordinator (NCTV), who took a package of security measures. The RVD says that a jetty has been constructed at the home, and a plot of land has been leased, but will not clarify the cost of this.
This is not the first time that the construction of a Royal holiday home has come under fire. In 2007, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima bought a home in Mozambique. The high costs of protecting a Royal vacation home in a developing country in Africa became a political discussion, and the home was given up in 2009.”
BTW: the villa is not so legal as it it built in what we call in Greece “εκτός σχεδίου”, that is “outside town/urban planning zone.” (see the ministerial decision). If you are a common Greek you get no phone land line or even electricity in such a building nowadays.