Ban Damage: Macedonia

The World Macedonia Ban Damage…

Macedonia parliament’s smoking fine
26 November 2011
State smoking inspectors have fined Macedonia’s parliament after a raid found overflowing ashtrays on the premises – but no illicit smokers.
The country’s labour inspectorate said in a statement that in addition to a ?4,285 fine it had ordered the assembly’s lounge and restaurant to close for two weeks over breaches of an indoor smoking ban.
The statement said inspectors found used ashtrays in parts of the building used by MPs and parliament staff, but caught nobody puffing away.

Macedonia May Ease Smoking Ban

Text by Sinisa-Jakov Marusic for Balkan Insight???
18 February 2010
The Macedonian parliament’s Public Health Committee Wednesday endorsed the ruling party’s motion to amend the strict anti-smoking law that has angered the country’s many smokers since its introduction in January.

The motion from the centre-right VMRO-DPMNE party will later be debated at a plenary session.

“With this bill, we want to liberalise the existing law. Namely, smoking will be allowed in outdoor areas and gardens of restaurants and cafes, and in outdoor disco clubs,” Vladimir Gjorcev of the VMRO-DPMNE said.

The opposition was dissatisfied with the motion, arguing that its provisions were not sufficient. In a heated debate the Social Democrats demanded smoking to be allowed inside caf?s and restaurants that satisfy certain conditions and have enough space to include a smoking section.

The amendments come after the Macedonian Tourism Chamber revealed a survey showing an astonishing 90 per cent drop in profits among caf? and restaurant owners since the new law entered into force.

The hospitality industry has been asking for changes to the harsh law, arguing that it deters smokers from visiting their establishments in a country where some half of the adult population puffs.

Macedonian Hospitality Industry Profits Plummet

Skopje | 17 February 2010 | Sinisa-Jakov Marusic

The income of Macedonian caf? and restaurant owners plummeted an astonishing 90 per cent since the introduction of a harsh new anti-smoking law at the start of the year, a survey shows.

Fifty nine per cent of the respondents say they already have or plan to fire workers due to the drastic decrease in clientele, according to the survey conducted by the Macedonian Tourism Chamber.

87 per cent of the owners complained about the substantially reduced number of guests. For 63 per cent of the respondents the decline was cited as a direct consequence of the smoking ban.

18 per cent of respondents noted another reason for the drop, namely a serious decline in the purchasing power of Macedonians amid the global financial crisis that struck the world last year.

Macedonia’s law is considered one of the harshest in Europe; The law bans smoking in all public places, including offices and hospitals, and even outside locations serving food or drinks.

The owners of cafes, bars and restaurants want state authorities to reconsider the law since some half of the adult population in the country puffs regularly.

Legislators from both the opposition and the ruling parties have already filed amendments to ease the restraints but they have not yet been debated in parliament.

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