The number of inspections carried out by the Athens municipal police on establishments to determine whether they are enforcing a ban on smoking in public places tripled in the first half of this year compared to last year, figures showed on Tuesday.
The center-right government, which came to power in July, has pledged to enforce the law which, although introduced a decade ago, has been patchily implemented. According to official data, however, inspections also intensified under the outgoing leftist administration.
A total of 2,809 checks were carried out on cafes, bars and restaurants in the first six months of the year and 245 violations recorded, compared to 918 inspections in the same period last year that led to 171 violations being recorded.
“Keeping the city’s businesses smoke-free concerns us all – businesses, inspectors, but chiefly citizens,” acting Athens Mayor Giorgos Broulias said. He said the enforcement of the ban was “one of the municipal police’s key goals.”