Food & Drink Services to appeal Smoking Ban at Greece’s Top Court


Owners of restaurants, bars and cafeterias will appeal the anti-smoking law at Greece’s top court, the Council of State. They believe that the total, horizontal smoking ban in their facilities will drastically decrease the volume of customers and will be disastrous for the market that has already be “hurt.”

They argue that the implementation of the anti-smoking law will cause more financial damage to bars, cafes, restaurants and entertainment facilities. They believe that the government should have opted for milder transitional solutions.

In their appeal they will push for the possibility that all catering facilities will have the option to create special space for smokers.

The anti-smoking law punishes with heavy fines both smokers and businesses where the law is violated.

The Panhellenic Association of Facilities, Consumers in Catering and Entertainment (PASKEDI) has submitted specific proposals to the relevant Parliamentary Committee.

Among the proposals is the exception of businesses from fines when they comply with the law standards like removing ashtrays form the tables, have clear signs that smoking is forbidden, have floor ashtrays at the entrance.

PASKEDI also proposes that there must be options “enabling the catering industry to operate as smoking or non-smoking facility, and thus under strict conditions in each case.

The Association has pointed out that it has been receiving messages of dissatisfaction by its 40,000 members and stressed the need that “the anti-smoking law is being implemented smoothly.”

In a memorandum sent to the Health Ministry which is in charge for the law, PASKEDI said that the distinction between smoking and non-smoking facilities will bring balance to anti-smoking law.

PS Friends report that there are controls in restaurants, bar, cafeterias etc in downtown Athens over the weekends.

In neighborhood facilities, though, things are more relaxed. In a souvlaki tavern on Friday evening, we asked if smoking is allowed inside. “We have the windows open, so Yes!” was the response, “later, in winter, we’ll see.” Of course, for the Law having windows open is not sufficient. Smoking is allowed only outdoors, not matter how many windows are open. facilities.

We sat outside and enjoyed our dinner and cigarettes. Other smokers took pleasure on their souvlaki inside.

To tell you the truth, since the anti-smoking law, before we go out, to a specific facility, let’s say, we wonder whether we can smoke or not. Recently we did not go to a pastry shop because it has no tables outdoors…

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