OPINION

Law enforcement and the lack thereof

The bill banning the sale of tobacco to juveniles is a positive step forward and will be even more so if it is actually enforced. Naturally there is some suspicion among many Greeks, bearing in mind the state’s track record for passing laws that are never implemented. The state protects its children only on paper; in practice it is indifferent to their fate. One only has to pop into a bar to see evidence of this. For although the law forbids entry to anyone under the age of 17 on premises selling alcohol, many bars are literally packed with young teenagers. Laws are only useful when they are enforced, as opposed to just empty words on paper. Consequently, along with expressing their best intentions, those who draft the bills perhaps also ought to explain to Greek citizens exactly how they plan to implement the measures and how they intend to ensure enforcement in the long term.