Δευτέρα, 4 Ιουνίου 2018

Quiet Hours

Stick "'Ωρες κοινής ησυχίας" into Google translate and what you get is the title of this article.

Recently the police amended the law slightly, that is changed the hour, bringing of course the whole issue into a temporary media spotlight, which has resulted in a great many and varying reactions...



I won't go into the reactions of the usual greek yobs who consider themselves above any kind of law or rule or even basic politeness... They reacted in their usual way...

I have seen a number of reactions from people I know, mainly foreigners who just didn't plain know there was any such thing! So I thought I 'd write a little something about it.



Growing up in the 70s here in Greece, I would see my father come back from work every afternoon, we would have lunch and he would promptly retire to the living room where he might read a paper and fall asleep or just fall asleep... During this time we would have to be quiet...  but in any case we knew as it was something we grew up with that the hours between 2 and 5 were to be quiet hours and respected.

If someone where to be noisy duting these hours, and I mean for example a loud party, or radio blaring, it would not be unusual for someone to go out on the balcony and give them a piece of his mind, or even worse, call the police...



I thought I d look up the law and see when or how it started. The most recent one is not exactly a law, but what is called an "Astynomiki Diataxi"  essentially a Police Order as the police have been given the right to legislate and regulate on such matters since at least 1984. And in the 1984 law there is reference to "quiet hours" so the idea preexisted...



But what does the law say?

Well here it is translated and in synopsis...

According to the Police Order 3 of 1996, the Afternoon and Nighttime Quiet Hours are the following:

  • During the summer period from 15:00 to 17:30 and from  23:00 to 07:00.
  • During the winter period from 15:30 to 17:30 and from 22:00 to 07:30.
  • Summer period is taken to be from the 1st of April to the 30th of September.
  • Winter period is taken to be from the 1st of October to the 31st of March
Those found in contempt of the law may be indicted to the level of misdemeanor..
Specifically:
Article 1. - Afternnon and Night Quiet Hours. Prohibitions
1.just repeats the hours stated above
2. just repeats clarification of summer and winter periods

3. During these hours the folowing is prohibited:

α.Any kind of work that creates noise. Only in extreme cases when there can be no alternative may work go ahead as long as special permission has been had from the Police chief and especially  if this work is for the common good... 
β. Use of any musical instrument or radio, tape recorder or television at high volume, shouting, noisy dancing and any other kind of noisy event in houses or other private areas
γ. Singing, shouting or use of musical instruments, operation of radios, tape recorders and television on the streets, squares, and public spaces in general, as well as within public transport.
δ. Playing raucous games at the kafeneion, bowling alleys or other public areas, as well as the shouting or conversation at high tones by the habituees of these places.
ε. Loud conversations and arguments at stations, (bus, TAXI or otherwise) loading or unloading of merchandise on or off trucks in a noisy manner, as well as noisy runniing of a vehicle's engine while it is parked.
στ. Use of sirens or other sound instruments or security systems, without reason, as well as testing them.

Article 2. - General prohibitions and obligations

1. It is prohibited at all hours of the day:

α. To play football or other such games on the street, the squares and other public spaces, that is noisy.


β. Crying out by vendors and other outdoor professionals, in order to advertise their wares or profession, as well as use of louspeakers or other sound instruments for the same reason.
γ. Crying out by managers and/or employess of merchant shops or professionals, in order to attract custom with shouting and invocations. When such infractions are commited by employees, the managers shall be considered jointly responsible.


2. Owners or managers of factories, workshops, public centers and other such businesses, are obliged to minimise as much as possible the sounds that are generated by their premises, by the use of any means, such as soundinsulation. The same obligation applies to home owners when their heating or airconditioning or other machinery is too noisy, thus bothering their neighbours..
3. Owners of pets and birds must take all  possible measures in order from their pets not to bother with noisy behaviour..
4. Those responsible for the installation and operation of security systems are obliged to make sure measures are taken to prevent their unneeded operation.
Articles 3 and 4  go on to regulate times and way of operation of theatres, bars, cinemas as regards noise hours and musical instrument use in cafes etc (prohibited) Night clubs are exempt.

I thought it was quite funny and in a way poignant (if that is the right word) So I translated it...

Of course now that I've come round yo posting it is not exactly current news, but I'm sure it can still give you a little smile...


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