A unanimous decision by Athens’ municipal council on Monday freezes, for at least three years, outdoor seating licenses for new food-and-beverage establishments in four main squares and eight under-construction pedestrian ways in the Greek capital’s historic center.

The decision, at least according to the mayor’s office, aims to preserve, as much as possible, the remaining residential nature of the affected sites – all in the face of an unprecedented boom in tourism- and visitor-related activity, including brisk nightlife, in the city’s center.

As such, new restaurants, cafes and bars won’t be issued outdoor seating licenses for at least three years, and specifically for the Aghia (St.) Eirini (Irene), St. Georgios Karytsi, Aghii Theodori and Ieros Lohos squares. Eight new pedestrian ways will also come under the same regime.

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