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Cracow. Will there be a night ban? Councilors will vote on nightly alcohol sales

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Krakow councilors will vote on Wednesday on the introduction of a night ban on the sale of alcohol in stores. According to the draft resolution submitted by the mayor, the ban would apply throughout the city from midnight to 5.30. On the eve of the session, councilors are still hesitating over how to vote. If passed, the new rules will come into effect in July.

On Wednesday (May 17), during the session of the Krakow City Council, a decision will be made regarding the introduction of a ban on the sale of alcohol at night throughout the city. Restrictions would apply from midnight to 5.30 and only apply to shops – bars and restaurants would be able to serve percentage drinks without interruption. The regulations would come into force on July 1 this year.

The draft resolution was submitted by the mayor of the city, Jacek Majchrowski. City officials point out that similar regulations have already been introduced by other Polish cities, including Katowice, Poznań and Wrocław. In Lesser Poland, restrictions were introduced by Zakopane and Skawina near Kraków.

Read also: The inhabitants of Krakow want a night prohibition. The city is considering restrictions on the sale of alcohol

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“In the cities where restrictions were introduced, a positive impact on improving safety and a decrease in the number of interventions was confirmed, for example in Katowice the number of interventions regarding alcohol consumption in public places decreased (by 45%) and the number of interventions against drunk people (by 46.4%) .)” – we read in the communiqué of the magistrate.

Night prohibition in Krakow? Councilors uncertain

On the eve of the session, many councilors are still hesitant to support the ban. Therefore, the result of the vote remains a great unknown – especially since the clubs do not introduce discipline in this matter.

– Just as James Bond’s drink was shaken, I am confused. In fact, there are places in Krakow where there are problems with liquor stores. If there are two shops in the city center and two bars on the other side, you will still be able to buy alcohol there, only more expensive. No problem will be solved. Only entrepreneurs running bars will benefit from this – says Drewnicki. And he adds that possible support for the presidential project will crystallize during Wednesday’s session.

Read also: Zakopane introduces a night prohibition. After 11 p.m., alcohol will not be available in stores

– In our club, opinions prevail that some kind of restrictions must be introduced, rather in the direction that has been agreed with entrepreneurs. However, there are different voices – says Dominik Jaśkowiec, a councilor of the Civic Platform, in an interview with tvn24.pl. Members of Krakow’s PO will discuss possible support for the new regulations on Tuesday evening.

The president will also not find support from the leader of the three-person club Kraków for Residents, Łukasz Gibała. – I’ll hold on. There are a lot of arguments for this project, but also a lot against it. The residents have drunk brawls outside their windows, so they support Prohibition, I understand that. On the other hand, we have decent citizens who have done nothing wrong and who do not want their freedom to be restricted in such a way, judges Gibała. The councilor proposes that this issue be resolved by a local referendum.

Support for the night prohibition in Krakow was announced by the chairman of the city council, Rafał Komarewicz from the presidential club Przyjazny Krakow, politician of Poland 2050, Szymon Hołownia. However, he is also reluctant to the idea.

– A survey was carried out among the inhabitants, which shows that more than half of Cracovians want to limit the sale of alcohol. I believe that there should be no ban, because I value the value of freedom, but I will support this project because the majority of residents want it. I believe that the compromise worked out is a great value, which somehow combines the voice of residents and the expectations of entrepreneurs – Komarewicz tells us.

Read also: Mafia profits, Treasury losses. How PiS lost to “one-armed bandits”

More than half of the inhabitants of Krakow want a night prohibition

The study that Komarewicz is talking about was conducted in the fall of last year. Nearly 12,000 people responded to the survey, almost 55 percent of whom were in favor of introducing restrictions on the sale of alcohol. The other 45 percent were against.

– I am not convinced by this study, because the majority of votes “for” is small. In practice, the referendum could turn out differently – assesses councilor Gibała. In his opinion, checks should be tightened at points where there is a problem with night brawls. – These are mostly the same locations. Shops that repeatedly break the ban on selling to intoxicated persons should have their concessions revoked. The problem could also be solved by permanent patrols that would be able to pacify people who are arguing, Gibała emphasised.

Read also: Prohibition in Warsaw? Activists want to ban the sale of alcohol at night

– There is a problem and something really needs to be done about it. A few years ago we voted to reduce the number of outlets offering alcohol. For some time it worked, and then the councilors of the PO and the president voted to increase the number of these points – notices PiS councilor Michał Drewnicki.

District councils are also divided on the ban. Only five out of eighteen gave a positive opinion on the project. Eight expressed a negative opinion and another five took no position.

Another attempt to limit night-time alcohol sales

Already in 2018, Krakow councilors were trying to introduce a night prohibition. After social consultations, a resolution was adopted to limit the sale of alcohol in the Old Town. However, the resolution did not come into force because the Voivodship Administrative Court in Krakow suspended its implementation.

“On February 20, 2019, the Municipality of Kraków filed a cassation appeal against the judgment of the Provincial Administrative Court in Kraków. On August 24, 2022, the Supreme Administrative Court repealed the appealed judgment and remanded the case to the Provincial Administrative Court in Kraków. On February 22, 2023, the Provincial Administrative Court in Kraków Kraków dismissed the complaints of entrepreneurs against the resolution of the Krakow City Council of September 12, 2018. The judgment is not final and the entrepreneurs have filed another complaint, reads the communiqué of the magistrate.

Author:Bartholomew Plewnia

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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