GERB MPs: Smoking Ban Stays Full Force in Bulgaria
Bulgaria's crack-down on smokers date back to 2005, when a partial smoking ban was introduced only to be widely ignored. File photo
The full smoking ban in indoor spaces in Bulgaria would remain without any future changes, according to MPs from the ruling GERB party.
The statement of the Members of the Parliament from Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria is cited Wednesday by Trud (Labor) daily.
It comes on the heels of reports about Bulgaria's Parliament considering easing the full smoking ban in closed public spaces that was imposed in the country on June 1. The Standard daily wrote Tuesday that the ban may only be lifted in bars and night clubs and only after 10:00 pm. Lawmakers have argued that, while people should be able to eat their dinner in smoke-free establishments, smoking would be still appropriate in bars and night clubs.
Standard informed that the new proposal has been backed by MPs from all parties in the Parliament and is expected to be enforced in January 2012.
"We are a party of the leader type, and our boss has not changed his mind. The ban stays," the MPs from GERB told Trud, speaking off the record.
The article further reminds that in his most recent interviews, Prime Minister and leader of GERB, Boyko Borisov, has reiterated he stood firmly behind the ban.
The MPs have also noted that it was only a matter of several months before people get used to the measure, and smokers accept it, adding the 39% who smoke should be mindful of those who don't.
In November, Bulgarian business representatives, as well as regular citizens assembled in front of the Bulgarian Parliament in Sofia to rally for a lifting of the full smoking ban in closed public spaces.
Bulgaria is consistently ranking among the top 5 European countries in terms of smoking rates, both in the general population and among the young.
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