THE Health Ministry has been forced into an embarrassing U-turn after ordering the closure of two of Andalucia’s best beaches in the heart of summer.
The volte-face comes just days after the ministry ordered that El Carmen, in Barbate, and Los Castillejos (pictured), in Canos de Meca, shut after finding traces of sewage in the water.
In a report on the state of beaches in Andalucia the ministry said that of the 253 investigated, the two Cadiz beaches were not suitable for swimming as they exceeded recommended sewage levels.
A day later however, bosses changed their tune, after new ‘normal’ samples were taken.
The move enfuriated Barbate mayor Rafael Quiros – who had initially refused to close the beach arguing there was no danger.
He claims that it has led to a ‘damaging stain’ on the Cadiz coastline.
Meanwhile residents questioned the timing of the ban, arguing it is a long standing issue that comes as the result of problems with an existing sewage treatment plant.
Said one: “Why wait until the heart of the summer to take this measure… it is anything but new.”
He added: “It’s wrong to shut the beaches, particularly now when so many livelihoods depend on them.”