Greeks celebrate lockdown easing with open parties and take-away drinks
It is difficult to tame Greeks, especially the younger generations. The lockdown has been gradually lifted on Monday, however, restrictions such as gatherings and crowding and parties remain and bars are closed. Closed?
On the first night of the lockdown easing, sneaky businessmen and eager customers found ways to come together, socialize in informal “parties” with take-away cocktails.
Alcoholic drinks and cocktails were sold only as take away. But the mostly young men and women did not take them and went away. They stayed nearby and hanged out for hours.
In Agia Paraskevi suburb of northern Athens, some citizens briefed the local authorities who called the police.
A member of the City Council complained about the phenomenon saying Agia PAraskevi should remain without coronavirus cases.
The same happened in the town of Volos in central Greece, when one bar opened only for take away cocktails.
Probably more “parties” took places in other areas as well away from cameras and documentation.
Both in Volos and Agia Paraskevi police recommended that people keep safety distance among them.
No fine was imposed – and how could it? For what kind of violation? For standing next to each other at a distance of less than 1.5 meters?
Since May 4th, the only fine imposed is 150 euros for not wearing a mask in public transport means, taxis, health facilities and elevators, for movement outside the prefecture of the permanent residence and for opening businesses that are still forbidden to open.
The following day, on Tuesday, Head of Civil Protection Nikos Hardalias warned in a sharp tone about this kind of open parties where “people are crowding drinking so-called take away cocktails, ignore protection measures and the coronavirus and put the public health at risk,: and “where music is being played loud.”
He said that “the take away refers to coffee from cafes, where people take the coffee and go away.”
He claimed that “take away drinks from cafes or cafe-bars is not permitted as it is not permitted that they play loud music.”
He warned business owners who deal with activities beyond their license with heavy fines.
Hardalias threatened that if necessary the state will take measures against such parties.
Speaking to Alpha TV, a young man said “yes, this is wrong, but we have been stuck inside for too long.”