OPINION

Spineless wavering on smoking ban reveals underlying weakness

One of the reasons Greek society is corrupt, with a totally ineffective insanely paid civil service, is that at the slightest pressure from interest groups, a succession of useless governments has caved in to their demands. A government has to pass and enforce laws for the good of all society and, if certain groups don’t like it, they should know where to cast their vote during the next election. It is not surprising that the majority of Greeks do not obey the laws, because the laws are not enforced and, under the slightest pressure, they are ignored by the authorities or changed by spineless politicians to serve the irresponsible and greedy needs of the selfish few in order to gain their favor. The owners of restaurants, cafes and bars are not at all concerned about the damage caused by cigarette smoke, such as cancer, emphysema and bronchitis, as long as they rake in the cash. Cash that very few pay tax on, but results in tens of thousands of agonizing deaths each year and costs billions for the health service. Even though Greece has the highest number of smokers in Europe, not all the population smokes. What protection is offered to those workers that do not smoke and are unable to speak up for themselves or find another job? None, because greed and a lack of consciousness outstrips consideration for others. If a worker dies as a result of secondhand smoke, who is responsible, the owner of the establishment or the spineless government that failed to legislate for a safe working environment? Who are these people who spend their time in cafes and bars? Well, from my experience, they are mostly the young. The young who pay extraordinary money at these establishments to relieve the boredom resulting from their inactivity. Time that should be spent looking for a job or in education (that’s another story), but why should they when their ineffective parents pay their bills? We don’t like going to restaurants and having smoke blown in our faces. For this reason, as well as the ubiquitous garbage, graffiti and stray cats and dogs, we and many others have stopped coming to Greece. Want to increase tourism? Start with the basics! SPYROS MOYHRITSAS Cheshire, England