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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Club owners call for raise in drink-drive limit ]

Club owners call for raise in drink-drive limit

BUSINESS in night spots has slumped by 50 per cent, with owners calling for an increase in the drink driving limit in a bid to reverse the trend.

The call was made yesterday at a news conference by Fanos Leventis, the General Secretary of the Association of Owners of Recreation Establisments (PASIKA), which represents restaurants, bars and clubs.

Insisting that his members were responsible on the issue of alcohol, Leventis appealed for the creation of a new type of club for under-18s, which would not serve alcohol and would close much earlier than other clubs. He said the suggestion had been taken into consideration and was included in a bill prepared by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation that would be adopted by Parliament within the year.

“We too have our sensitivities on matters concerning young people and particularly the subject of substances,” Leventis said. “We participate in any committee or working group that is proposed, in order to contribute the best we can to fight this tragic and big problem that has seeped into the society of our small country.”

But despite his sensitivities, he insisted an increase in the drink driving limits was the way forward: “We maintain our low profile, and humbly and with utmost seriousness, we ask for the extension of the permitted alcohol level from 0.22mg to 0.30mg. In this way, the police, without any doubt, can conduct their duties more effectively, and can turn their attention to those consuming excessive quantities of alcohol, who pose a real danger.”

Leventis also asked the CTO to focus on the unlicensed competition from coffee shops, bakeries and social clubs than functioned like taverns, restaurants, and pubs without the necessary authorisation. “It is not in our authority to restrict someone from how they want to operate, but we ask that the law applies to them as it does to us.”

Leventis also suggested that on the receipts issued to customers, there should be itemised billing so consumers knew the extras they were paying for besides their food and drink.

“Nicosia faces the same problems as the rest of the districts but with no tourism. We also have a large number of Cypriots that seek a good time abroad. Every weekend there are around 4,000 Cypriots that travel abroad, but we do not have the same number of people travelling to Cyprus,” he added.

Mayor Eleni Mavrou said that “An improvement in quality is essential in this industry, Quality is vital, and we all know that locals are more demanding than tourists”.

Leventis’ concerns were echoed in a statement issued yesterday by the chairman of the separate Federation of Recreation Establishments (OSIKA).

Neophytos Thrasyvoulou declared that his members faced similar problems every year and that business in night spots had decreased by 50 per cent.

Thrasyvoulou said package tourism had created a problem for the clubs, because tourists stayed, ate and were entertained at their hotels.

“OSIKA does not have a problem with the hotel owners,” he insisted, adding that his association had informed the CTO, and the Commerce Ministry of the problem.

Thrasyvoulou said that if the situation continued, small to medium-sized businesses would put the padlock on their doors because turnover had fallen and expenses increased so much.

“The situation is tragic. We have hired employees because we expected that tourism would increase, but then realised that the tourists eat, drink and sleep in the hotels where they reside,” Thrasyvoulou said.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)

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