Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Greeks not given licence to smoke, despite hard times

In spite of Monday's report on smoking licences, the Greek Health Minister has now signalled that the government will draft in extra enforcement staff and ensure that the smoking ban in Greece is made to work. There will be no modification of the smoking ban policy. Is it to do with pride:
"The Greek State cannot continue to be made a laughing-stock," [Health Minister] Loverdos stressed, insisting that the law would be enforced in its current form.
Or is something more at stake? Why would the state appoint 800 public servants to punish people for a social enjoyment they had practised for hundreds of years – to enforce a smoking ban that would aggravate the austerity already imposed on Greeks, driving down incomes and threatening livelihoods.

Knowing the EU's position on Cyprus, it's not hard to see them putting pressure on Greece in the smoking ban department. Just speculating.


margdurrance said...

False pride I believe. Gregarious.

JJ said...

’Why would the state appoint 800 public servants to punish people for a social enjoyment they had practised for hundreds of years’

For the same reason Belinda that this silly little island does – to curry favour the EU, to show them how tough they can be on their own people. Look at us aren’t we the goody-two-shoes. We enforce all the rules that you approve of.

I just wonder whether the Greeks will take to the streets.

Belinda said...

The question was rhetorical!

Belinda said...

It's reached the Express:

Anonymous said...

For the Greeks it's purely about money, or rather the lack of it - if they don't roll over. That's why our ban is particularly stupid, the UK is net a contributor to the EU.

Kin_Free said...

There is no doubt in my mind that smoking bans are being imposed upon nation states by the EU, in collaboration with the WHO and the UN with the assistance of the pharmaceutical industry.

It makes no sense whatsoever for politicians in countries like Spain and Greece to want to impoverish their countries. They must be aware that there is a massive downside for the economy that always comes with smoking bans - well evidenced in countries with existing bans.

Apart from the anti-tobacco lobby, the only beneficiaries are the EU and the WHO - it consolidates their power. They have Greek and Spanish politicians over a barrel using the threat of financial isolation. I believe that it has nothing to do with Greek political pride, in fact I think that they would be happy to see the smoke ban (that very few supported in the first place) fail, but they cannot be seen to be a part of that failure in the eyes of the EU. I have no doubt that Politicians have been TOLD, in no uncertain terms, that the smoke ban will NOT be watered down - OR ELSE.…!

Anti-tobacco are seeing greater resistance from the public and have lost the initiative somewhat over recent months. I suspect they intend to fight this ‘insubordination’ and try to stop it at this juncture using whatever means available. I have noticed that there appears to be an attempt to control internet comments by swamping with ‘anti’ posters who seem intent on merely creating the impression that smokers are ‘filthy and smelly’ based on the teachings of their patron saint, Adolph; “I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few.” Adolph Hitler

Their other main strategy is to isolate their enemy (us) by controlling information. The reporting 6500 spot fines, is evidence of resistance that could catch on - and they do not like that. Also, I have found that my comments are increasingly being excluded by moderators, or in the case of the ‘Cyprus Mail’ (Article linked above) by locking me out as a ‘spammer’. (my difficulty in hiding my contempt for the pieces of S**t on there however, may have had something to do with that one). Has anyone else been locked out on this one - ‘Harley rider 1978’ perhaps?

The question is; Are we up for this fight in support of our Greek and Spanish counterparts? ‘They’ clearly think this is a crucial battle, I think we should view it likewise and beat them hard with the stick of truth - and ridicule their ingrained gullible nature?

Anonymous said...

What a humiliating U turn for the Health Minister. Presumable the licence scheme was reported in the Greek national press. And how angry must Greek smokers be after having their hopes raised then dashed a day later.

Barney Breet said...

The Greeks will not take this lying down, look at their history, they will not be suppressed and robbed of their liberty, they will revolt, resist and fight back!

Belinda said...


Yes, if we know what's involved ... but do we?

david said...

Kin Free - I've been blocked as well


david said...

Rather 'db' has been banned.

I have just posted again (to point this out) by alternative email address. I would imagine it'll join the original one....