Good news for people with disabilities: Vassilis Kikilias, the Greek Minister of Tourism, announced the arrival on some beaches of a system entirely dedicated to them. It is composed of automatic ramps allowing people with reduced mobility to access the water without discomfort and without outside help. This service will be free for users.
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The measure is financed on the one hand by the Greek government, and on the other by the European Union to the tune of 15 million euros. In detail, 147 of the 287 Greek places are currently concerned: they are already equipped with a device called Seatrac, developed by the company TOBEA (for Thinking Out of the Box Engineering Applications). Vassilis Kikilias said he wanted to extend the measure to all 287 beaches in the country.
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All the beaches of the country soon concerned
It takes the form of a long remote-controlled ramp that connects the beach to the water. On it, there is a sliding chair whose height is adjustable: people with reduced mobility can thus climb it more easily. Once at the end of the ramp, they can get out of the seat thanks to guardrails to go swimming. Everything works thanks to solar energy. A map allows the user to see which beaches have, for the moment, this device.
A similar system had already been implemented on some beaches in Cyprus, Latvia and Italy. In France, the Handiplage label lists beaches with infrastructure and equipment adapted to the needs of people with reduced mobility. Created by the association of the same name, this certification now concerns 121 beaches, rated from 1 to 4 according to the quality of the environment, the safety of the site and accessibility.