– What determines the fortunes of a restaurant in a state governed by the law? Good location, tasty cuisine, nice atmosphere, passionate culinary professionals, effective promotion. What, then, decides the fate of a restaurant in a third world country? It can get destroyed by mafia, eliminated by a political clique or ruined by some official – writes President of Employers of Poland Andrzej Malinowski in “Rzeczpospolita”.
The President of Employers of Poland recounts the story of Warsaw restaurateur Artur Jarczyński, who has recently fallen victim to officials’ whims.
– What happened? Was Jarczyński selling contraband? Did he dilute his alcohol, serve spirits to underage patrons? None of this occurred. The reason for his troubles is cider, a drink the consumption of which is now being promoted as a way to support Polish agriculture. Authorities do not seem to share this view – Malinowski remarks.
Cider sold at Jarczyński’s restaurants was marked as containing 4.5 percent alcohol and its producer had permit to sell drinks with alcohol volume exceeding this limit by 0.1 percent. Moreover, tests showed that the actual alcohol volume fell within the limits allowed.
– What does Jarczyński even have to do with that? He just sold the cider in question at his restaurant. Of course, he was not aware of the differences between the information on the bottle and the producer’s permit, because how could he be? He bought the drink legally. But according to authorities he still violated the sobriety act which results in the permit for the sale of alcoholic drinks being withdrawn altogether – writes the President of Employers of Poland.
The appeal procedure is underway, so for now Jarczyński’s restaurants can still sell alcohol. The very same regulation where interpreted in Zamość, Gdańsk and Katowice and even in the Warsaw district of Targówek. The European Fund and Economic Development Bureau of the Capital City of Warsaw points out in its legal opinion that there are no sufficient grounds for the permit for alcohol sale to be withdrawn. Thus, according to Malinowski it is very likely that the appeals board will lift the decision, thus publicly making fools of the officials who made it.
– Jarczyński’s cider ”scandal” is one of many arguments in favour of passing a new entrepreneurship act, protecting the controlled with the presumption of innocence principle in case of an ambiguous interpretation of regulations, as quickly as possible. The act has been blocked for a long time now – unsurprisingly by officials – concludes the president of Employers of Poland.