Groups of friends, entire families, couples, businesses and representatives from local associations gathered on Thursday afternoon on Marbella’s Paseo del Mar in front of the sculpture of Freedom of Expression to demand that the projects to stabilise the town’s beaches be put out to tender as a matter of urgency.
Despite the serious nature of the protest, there was a celebratory atmosphere with the group Arenal Duo providing the music and shouting 'Espigones Ya!' (Breakwaters Now!), the Marbella Platform for Beaches protest, which began at 8pm, attracted nearly a thousand people
Among the protesters was Paqui Pino, president of the Housewives’ Association: "I have come to sign for the breakwaters to be rebuilt because this cannot be. I post a lot of criticism on social networks so that people know how we want our beaches and that the corresponding administration will replace them."
Enrique García, who attended with seven other members of his family said, "We have come to support a solution to the problem. The beaches were fantastic. Surely everything can coexist, both nature, the beach and tourists because it’s our bread and butter here," he argued.
And those who recall Marbella’s beaches with breakwaters were also present: "They were beautiful beaches and everyone who came loved the crystal clear water," explained Verónica Márquez. "They had white sand that made it a pleasure to come and spend the summer. However, when they removed the breakwaters, the storms took the sand away which has been replaced with another type of sand that isn’t the same. It’s darker brown sand," Marquez explained, adding that when she was young she “used to walk along all the beaches".
Among those present were the Mayor, Ángeles Muñoz, other councillors and José Antonio Sánchez Herrera, parish priest of Encarnación Church, as well as representatives of the associations and groups belonging to the Marbella for its Beaches Platform.
Speeches followed the music and signing of a petition. During his speech, José Luque, president of the Association of Hotel and Catering Businesses Costa del Sol said: "We are playing with our future. Sadly, we see how once again the beaches of Marbella and San Pedro continue to be forgotten."
Maribel Notario, vice-president of the Federation of Neighbourhood Associations, said: "The whole neighbourhood movement has been fighting for many years for the return of the breakwaters. The beaches are also part of our home, which we must always have ready for those of us who live here and for those who visit us.”
While the wait continues for a definitive solution to the problem of Marbella’s beaches, on Thursday the subdelegation of the Government in Malaga announced the start of the emergency plan for Marbella, which they said would begin with El Pinillo beach.
The measures were adopted to repair the damage caused by the last storm in early April and the plan is expected to replace a total of 300,000 cubic metres of sand to affected beaches along the Costa del Sol.