The National Transparency Authority shot down attempts by the union of to open “smokers clubs” across Greece, saying the law is clear abo
Independent authority warns against creation of 'smokers clubs'

Independent authority warns against creation of 'smokers clubs'

Independent authority warns against creation of 'smokers clubs'

Independent authority warns against creation of 'smokers clubs'

Independent authority warns against creation of 'smokers clubs'

Independent authority warns against creation of 'smokers clubs'
Independent authority warns against creation of 'smokers clubs'
  • 2020-01-14 15:00:07 1 months ago
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The National Transparency Authority shot down attempts by the union of to open “smokers clubs” across Greece, saying the law is clear about the universal ban of smoking and warning of repercussions if they flout it.

The statement comes after the head of Greece’s union of cafes and restaurant owners, Ilias Kallioras, told state-run broadcaster ERT that the union has initiated procedures for the creation of private “smokers clubs” to bypass the ban which he claims has decreased revenues.

“The anti-smoking law is completely clear, and does not allow for the misinterpretation of its regulatory framework, and is primarily aimed at protecting citizens' health and ensuring conditions for healthy competition and fairness between businesses,” the authority said in a statement.

It also warned that any attempt “to conceal the operation of these stores under the guise of innovative legal arrangements, with the sole purpose of circumventing the smoking ban, as well as tax and labor and health-related legislation, will result in a prioritized thorough audit on their licensing and operation.”

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Independent authority warns against creation of 'smokers clubs'

Tom Hanks’ family offered Greek passport too for fire help

Tom Hanks’ family offered Greek passport too for fire help

Greece’s government is extending its offer of citizenship to Tom Hanks to his wife and their two children, in recognition of the family's help in assisting victims of a deadly wildfire near Athens in 2018.

Last month, Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos signed an honorary naturalization order allowing the 63-year-old actor, who has spent his recent summer vacations at a family home on the Greek island of Antiparos, to claim Greek citizenship.

The decision published in a government gazette Tuesday and co-signed by Greek Interior Minister Takis Theodorikakos, revealed that the order also includes Hanks’ wife, actress and producer Rita Wilson, and their two sons, Chester and Truman.

The wildfire killed more than 100 people in July 2018, sweeping through the coastal town of Mati and other nearby resorts east of Athens.

“The Hanks family gave a signal all over the world for immediate relief actions to help our fire-stricken fellow citizens,” the order signed on Dec. 27 said. It  added that in their effort to assist charity efforts they had provided “exceptional services to Greece.”

Honorary naturalization, under Greek law, may be granted to people “who have provided exceptional services to the country or whose naturalization serves the public interest.”

Hanks became an Orthodox Christian before his second marriage in 1988 to Rita Wilson, who is of Greek and Bulgarian descent.

Hanks, Wilson, and Hollywood producer Gary Goetzman co-produced the 2002 romantic comedy, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which received an Academy Award nomination for best original screenplay.

In a post on Instagram last week, Hanks said: “Starting 2020 as an Honorary citizen of all of Greece! Kronia pola! (more or less, ‘Many years to you!’). Hanx”

The post shows the shadow of Hanks holding up his left arm against an ancient Greek statue. [AP]

The Greek Navy completed the first phase of a diving exhibition to examine and record the current state of historic shipwrecks in the seas of Skaramanga, Saronic Gulf and Lakki, Leros, the Hellenic Navy General Staff (HNGS) said in a statement Wednesday.

Greece requested to attend the Libya Peace Conference in Berlin

Greece requested to attend the Libya Peace Conference in Berlin

Government spokesman Stelios Petsas said on Tuesday that Greece has requested to attend the Berlin Peace Conference on Libya scheduled to take place on upcoming Sunday, January 19, 2020. The Conference is to take place upon an initiative of Chancellor Angela Merkel in an effort to discuss options to broker peace in Libya.

During the regular press briefing Petsas responded to a reporter’s question about “Greece’s absence from diplomatic initiatives for Libya.”

The government spokesman said that “no one can say that Greece is absent but instead it is at the center of developments. We want to be involved in any initiative at the level of seeking a political solution.”

Despite doubts about whether the Conference would indeed take place after the failure in Moscow, Germany issued a statement issued on Tuesday, confirming the event.

The statement issued by the office of Chancellor Angela Merkel siad among others that the German leader decided to to host the meeting after consulting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Germany has invited the two fighting parties in Libya, Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and General Khalifa Haftar as well as representatives from the United States, the UN and the EU, Russia, UK, France, China, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Turkey and several African and Arab countries, the statement said.

Greece has a very strong interest to participate in the Conference, nonetheless the Turkey-Libya Agreement on the delimitation of maritime borders in the East Mediterranean Sea, an agreement that threatens the sovereign rights of Greece and Cyprus.

PS But would Germany want to allow Greeks put another issue on the table other than finding solutions to end the civil war in the north African country?