Zakynthos Mayor Nikitas Aretakis was clear on the matter of compliance with the law. After announcing that fines will apply to the offenders and urging everyone to respect the legality of making the city of our island more humane.
At first Mr. Aretakis stressed that he did not want the town to be a an old shack. He gave an example of pedestrian complaints where people cannot pass through the shops. “We have decided to stop Zakynthos from become a slum. We won’t compromise! There is no way that when our term is over that Zakynthos will not be become how it should!. We can’t listen to people telling us that they want to walk along the pavement and that there is no way to pass because businesses have blocked it with nylon. This they have to forget. Those who think they can, are wrong. They’ll be fines, we’ve already started handing out the first fines. ”
The Mayor also mentioned in his meeting with the shopkeepers, stressing that he would comply with their demand for justice, while warning the businessmen that padlocks would come in if the law was not complied with.
“At a meeting I had with the shopkeepers they asked for one thing. Justice! It’s not fair that a shop a 100sqm gets extra 20sqm squares and another shop 10sqm gets 100sqm squares within the main square. This is unfair competition. A good thing for those who are breaking the law would be to “pull down” what is. Unless we can by law and create unrealistic situations, my decision, as the law allows me, is to remove shop licenses and close them for as long as they need to adapt to the law. In no way the Municipal Authority will backtrack. We are however, not determined to destroy shops and create problems for them. We are, however, committed to upholding the legitimacy of the city functioning humanly. “
Shopkeepers comment on ‘How are we breaking the law?”- What is the municipality asking of us?
There have been several complaints so far with the regulation, with several shopkeepers protesting the legality issue. Mr. Kontostavlakis, who owns a restaurant in the city, stressed: “When a decision comes out, all stakeholders have to agree. The shouldn’t be any bureaucratic problems where half get the licences and are legal and the other half don’t have licences and are illegal. The municipality has no money and therefore fines are its only solution. I’m asking businessmen, do they have the money to pay for fines? The point is, this is done for 40 days, when the island is very crowded. “
Shopkeepers in the catering business are asking the City Council to adhere to the same “measures and weights” for everyone, as they point out that some shops pay their obligations and others who don’t and illegally operate cause many serious problems.
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