Rich haul for price inspectors

Half of all the restaurants and snack bars visited by government inspectors last month in the buildup to the Olympic Games were found to have broken the law on pricing and customer service, the Development Ministry said yesterday. Among the offenders were the snack bars and refreshment stands at the Acropolis – Greece’s most popular tourist attraction – and the adjacent Herod Atticus Theater, where music, dance and theatrical performances are staged to sellout crowds throughout the summer. Other violations were registered at railway stations, long-distance bus terminuses and on island ferries. All offenders are to be prosecuted. Deputy Development Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou told a press conference that 630 of the 1,240 establishments checked had breached the law in some fashion, from irregularities in their price lists or menus to profiteering. «Those who want to take advantage of the Olympic Games to profiteer will face legal consequences,» he said. Furthermore, inspections carried out by Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) officials in July at Athens restaurants, hospitals, catering firms and children’s summer camps pinpointed a series of shortcomings. Out of the 132 restaurants inspected, 40 will have to undergo supplementary scrutiny, while the same will apply to all 13 hospitals checked. Development Ministry and EFET officials are to step up their inspections over the next few days. Furthermore, the Finance Ministry’s Financial Crime Squad (SDOE) will be checking up to 12,000 establishments in Athens and the other cities where Olympic events are to be staged – Thessaloniki, Volos, Iraklion and Patras – to crack down on overpricing and the sale of pirated goods.

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