Inspectors intensify checks for smoking ban violations


Greek state officials launched intensified inspections on cafes and bars over the long weekend to determine whether a ban on smoking in public places is being observed.

Accompanied by police officers, inspectors fanned out across central Athens, focusing on the busy districts of Kolonaki, Karytsi Square and Gazi, as part of a bid by the government to finally enforce the smoking ban introduced more than a decade ago but only laxly implemented.

Inspectors determined that 80 percent of businesses had “no smoking” signs on display and that the ban was enforced in most places.

In instances where the ban was being violated, offenders were given a warning, with inspectors to start issuing fines in the next round of checks.