Letter to EU Commissioner Andriukaitis : Greece’s top leaders smoke in public buildings

Greece’s top leaders smoke in public buildings

5 February 2019


Dear Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis

We have very much appreciated this EU health official slams Greek minister for defying smoking ban.

However, things are much worse as the provocative defiance of the smoking ban characterizes generally Greek society and Greek politics all the way up to the party leaders and the President of the Republic. Please see some pictures Greek Helsinki Monitor’s Anti-smoking Advocacy Section has collected:

1. Transport Minister Christos Spirtzis smokes (next to him other government officials) in March 2018



3. Then Minister of Migration (and former President of Doctors of the World) Yannis Mouzalas in January 2016


4. Mayor of Thessaloniki Yannis Boutaris lights up a cigarillo for the President of the Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos in October 2015  


5. Party leaders meeting in the Presidential Palace in November 2015: it was widely reported in the media that Potami leader Stavros Theodorakis protested that President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and party leaders Panos Kammenos and Vasilis Leventis had turned the meeting room into a smoke-filled room. [there are no pictures]

Our section filed in January 2016 a complaint with the Supreme Court Prosecutor for the latter two incidents (of 2015) against the President, the party leaders and the mayor. See (in Greek). The Athens and Thessaloniki Prosecutors who were assigned to investigate it filed it in the archives as the law calls only for administrative fines that can be imposed only in flagrante by various public servants including police and coast guard officers. The prosecutors did not want to file charges against the public servants who were present in the two incidents but did not impose fines. Only the Athens Prosecutor gave us a copy of the filing decision that we attach here along with the complaint (both in Greek).

anafora arheiothetisis minisi gia kapnisma eis prot ath 22-4-20-1 Moreover, it is our own experience that people smoke in most places where is it not allowed, including in police stations and in courts all the way up to the Supreme Court where even Supreme Court judges or prosecutors smoke…

We will appreciate if you can let us know what the Commission can do to help those law abiding citizens who want to see the law implemented but are powerless when faced with the persistent and deliberate failure of competent authorities to act accordingly, authorities most of whom are anyway smoking lawbreakers.

Yours sincerely,

Panayote Dimitras
Greek Helsinki Monitor
Humanist Union of Greece
address: PO Box 60820 – GR 15304 Glyka Nera Greece


See EU Commissioner Andriukaitis’ reply to GHM letter on Greece’s top leaders smoking in public buildings


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