NEWS

Clubs operate without permits and clearly flout the rule of law

Bureaucratic holdups and endless red tape that foster a climate of impunity have allowed nightclubs to operate without licenses, as complaints have revealed. And these are large-capacity clubs that make millions. Three examples show how Kerameikos has become an entertainment area, at the expense of local residents and historical monuments. Pili at 74 Iera Odos was first sued in October 2001, when it was found to be operating without a permit. A year later, the theater and cinema inspectorate found serious shortcomings in the venue but that same year the club got a postponement in order to settle outstanding matters and comply with the regulations. It was the same with Vox, on the same street. In 2002, the club, which belongs to a major entrepreneur who owns clubs in Athens, mainly in Kerameikos and Gazi, was found to have no license. Likewise, according to an Ombudsman report presented to a City of Athens meeting in June 2003, Cine Kerameikos on Kerameikou Street had been operating as a nightclub since early 2002 without a club license nor a permit to play music. Meanwhile, an application to run a cafe was still outstanding. The report also mentioned excessive noise from the air-conditioning system.