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Greek Lawmakers Complain as Parliamentary Smoking Ban Is Flouted

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Greek lawmakers demanded action be taken to stop colleagues from breaking a law banning smoking in Parliament, saying failure to do so undermines public faith in the legal system.

“This image being presented by Parliament of lawmakers being indifferent to the laws they themselves vote for and even worse violating them by smoking everywhere has to be reversed,” lawmakers said in a statement accompanying a letter addressed to Parliament speaker Evangelos Meimarakis. The letter was signed by 88 of Greece’s 300 members of Parliament.

Greece has repeatedly failed to implement laws banning smoking, including the latest legislation that prohibited puffing in all enclosed public and private workplaces that was passed in 2010.

“There is no respect for the law or the health problems some non-smokers face,” lawmakers including former Health Minister Andreas Loverdos said in the letter, according to an e-mailed copy.

Signatures came from the parties that support Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s coalition government, New Democracy, Pasok and Democratic Left, as well as the main opposition Syriza party and independent lawmakers.

To contact the reporter on this story: Antonis Galanopoulos in Athens at agalanopoulo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Maria Petrakis at mpetrakis@bloomberg.net

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