In the city of Geneva, a petition wants to resurrect "Thursday" on the terrace

Is Geneva becoming a dead city? Recently, the MCG and former elected officials, led by Luc Barthassat, asked the question. It must be said that between the abolition of the Geneva Festival, the relegation of fairgrounds to the Plainpalais plain and the early closure of the terraces, supporters of “it was better before” have something to provoke. Helen Calle-Lin, president of the Federation of Bars, Restaurants and the Nightlife, has decided to take action by extending the opening hours of the terraces from midnight to 1am on Thursday. an economically important evening. In early June, she filed a petition with 1001 signatures in City Council, as revealed by the Geneva Tribune. In charge of examining the proposal, the committee responsible is deeply divided.

This is not the first time that the City Council (parliament) has asked for a step back on the measures enacted by Mayor Marie Barbey-Chappuis at the end of May: the closure of some 1,500 terraces in the township at midnight on Sunday on Thursday. The PLR ​​tabled two texts to that effect, one calling for the 2 a.m. morning limit to be restored on Thursday, the other for reviewing the entire device. Unsurprisingly, PLR councilor Maxime Provini will support Helen Calle-Lin’s petition. “Not all bars are affected by noise issues. Why did the city act unilaterally rather than target certain areas? ” asks the elected official, adding that he would file a written interpellation to find out the number of complaints from residents, one of the arguments put forward by the magistrate to justify his tightening of screws. In the same vein, the UDC Didier Lyon supports “any measure capable of relieving the economy, already severely tested after two years of covid.”

Divergent interests

In this debate, divergent interests clash. The tranquility of the inhabitants, the freedom to undertake bistrotiers and the desire to celebrate night owls. For Green Uzma Khamis Vannini, a member of the Committee on Petitions, noise pollution is a public health problem. “In this sense, it seems to me justified that the authorities be careful to ensure a healthy environment for the residents.”

Also read: Early closure of terraces in the city of Geneva: a “blow to the club”

Same view from Maryelle Budry, Ensemble Left City Councilor, who considers the current measures to be balanced. “People have the right to rest, and partygoers who want to can still party inside after midnight,” she said, noting that she would not support the petition.

The city does not intend to go back

For her part, Socialist Olivia Bessat-Gardet is pleased to hear the petitioners’ arguments but also those of Marie Barbey-Chappuis. “To the extent that there is a conflict of interest in the public domain at night, there is a need to weigh in,” she said. -Authoritarian hats to express themselves.

An equitable compromise between the various interests is what the head of the Department of Safety and Sports in the city of Geneva believes she has already found. “Between the groups of residents who asked me to close the terraces at 11 pm all week and the restaurateurs who wanted to keep the limit at 2 am, I arbitrated after consulting the main stakeholders,” says Marie Barbey-Chappuis. emphasizing that a large part of the population, including restaurateurs, understands the measure. While the text is due to be studied at the end of the summer, the elected official of the Center adds that no going back is envisaged.

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