ATHENS – The content of the legislation on restaurant seating was outlined by Interior Minister Takis Theodorikakos in interviews with Mega and Skai TV on Monday, while announcing that the first installment of new emergency financial aid to municipalities will be paid in a few days.
Referring to the new rules for catering businesses, which will be submitted to Parliament on Wednesday, he said that the following will be provided:
1. The stores that have a license to use public spaces have the option, in collaboration with the municipality, to double the amount of space they use to set out tables and seating.
2. If pedestrianisation is possible, the municipalities will decide whether it should be done in cooperation with the police, but without additional construction or noise pollution.
3. The extra space will be given without charging additional municipal fees.
4. An essential condition for all the above will be to leave an open corridor for the passage of pedestrians (of at least 1.8m) and not obstruct the access or passage of people with disabilities.
5. In cases where additional space is not available, municipalities will have the option of lowering municipal fees by up to 50 pct.
"We are interested in opening businesses, preserving jobs and allowing turnover," Theodorikakos said, stressing that in cases where rules are disregarded there will be fines in the first phase and a removal of licenses in subsequent stages. "We will be adamant regarding our legislative intervention," he said.
The minister also referred to the decisive contribution of the local government during the crisis.
He acknowledged that municipalities have fewer resources during this period, adding that "the state is here to support local administration." He also announced that. in cooperation with the finance ministry, in the coming days the first installment of emergency financial support for local authorities will be paid to cover their financial losses.