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Society

New Democracy No Smoking Ban Crackdown Working

January 6, 2020

ATHENS – After more than a decade of Greeks and businesses ignoring a series of No Smoking laws, big fines and enforcement under New Democracy have seen nearly 75 percent of companies inspected finally complying.

It seemed unlikely as successive governments promised to make sure the law was implemented before backing off, Greeks then smoking almost anywhere they wanted, but New Democracy has extended the ban even to parks where children play.

Smoking is not allowed in indoor public spaces but that has routinely not been followed as people could light up just about anywhere they wanted, including sitting at restaurant tables with No Smoking signs and smoking anyway.
The National Transparency Authority found no violations were reported at three out of four of 570 bars, cafes, restaurants, indoor playgrounds and other such businesses that were inspected from Nov. 20, 2018, when new measures began, through the end of the year.

But 25 percent are still ignoring the law and tougher penalties, with inspections finding that 85 percent of those didn’t have No Smoking signs up as required, and had put ashtrays on tables, which isn’t allowed either.

But people were found smoking in 15 percent of establishments and it wasn’t reported whether there were fines or other punitive measures taken. A special hotline set up for people to call to report violations got 7,000 calls, said Kathimerini in a report on the inspections carried out.

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