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Society

Greek Restaurant, Tavern Owners Want Smoking Ban Stopped

January 21, 2020

ATHENS – Complaining that they losing business, the association of Greek restaurant and taverna owners and caterers have sent a petition to the country’s highest administrative court asking for the finally-enforced smoking ban to be overturned.

Although smokers are a minority in the country and a big majority of Greeks are in favor of prohibiting smoking in public places, the food facilities say that they want to cater to people who want to light up while they are eating and drinking.

The Panhellenic Association of Facilities, Consumers in Catering (PASKEDI) demanded annulment of the decision to enforce the smoking ban introduced in 2009 and enforced last year by New Democracy, which ruled out any exceptions and imposed hefty fines.

In a statement, PASKEDI said, “The association aims to protect the general interests of catering business owners,” said Kathimerini, and complained of financial damages under the ban that keeps smokers away or prevents them from doing so.

PASKEDI said there, should have had less strict measures to pave the way for a gradual enforcement although the law had been on the books for a decade without being enforced by successive governments, including a former ruling New Democracy administration.

“(The anti-smoking law)] violates people’s freedom to develop their personality and professional freedoms,” and complained the fines are too big, without explaining why non-smokers rights hadn’t been violated before the law’s enforcement.

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