But officials on the island said the overall jurisdiction belongs to the Finance Ministry, with the government leasing space on prime spots to private operators although there are many that have unlawfully taken over beaches.

Still, the Citizens’ Movement for Free Beaches of Paros, which rallied Greeks to take back their beaches, said the vote was a “significant” and “symbolic” victory although some of the areas are still occupied.

The council said there should be a strict delimitation of the concession areas that were leased – in violation of the Greek Constitution – the New Democracy government allowing half the space to be run by private operators.

Protesters said even those areas with leases have far exceeded the 50 percent limit and those running businesses without authority harass people into renting the equipment with at least one instance in northern Greece of one attacked.

The movement delivered a resolution with 10 proposals. “More than 250 citizens watched it live and dozens more listed from their radios. It was something unprecedented,” Damianos Gavalas, one of the movement’s founding members told Kathimerini, referring to the meeting of the council.

“Given the timing of the above decisions, we do not expect results this year, but we consider the vote to be binding for the future,” he said, noting there has been some success in regaining space after protests.