Nightlife in the country is dying: for two years no one has asked for a license for a disco!

Night Club / Photo: EPA-EFE / VALENTIN FLAURAUD

From 2017 to 2022, the Ministry of Economy issued 150 licenses for night bars, cabarets, disco clubs and outdoor disco clubs, their Register shows. Licenses are renewed every year, and the most expensive is the one for a summer disco - 10.000 euros, although their season is limited to three months.

Fewer and fewer home caterers decide to open a night bar, cabaret or disco club, probably due to the fact that many requirements from the respective institutions have to be met. They claim that night life in Skopje, as well as in some other cities, is being sacrificed due to insurmountable institutional requirements. And after going through the procedure, they may stumble upon the fact that they are a threat to public order and peace and do not get a permit, which is not cheap.

From 2017 to 2022, the Ministry of Economy issued 150 licenses for night bars, cabarets, disco clubs and outdoor disco clubs, their Register shows. The data reveal another interesting fact – all of last year, but also at the beginning of this year, there was no interest in moving the night life in the country, and from 2018 to 2022, as many as 32 requests of companies that wanted to enter this catering segment were rejected. Licenses are renewed annually. According to the Law on catering activities, to open a cabaret, you need to pay from 2.500 to 5.000 euros in denars, the license for a night bar costs from 5.000 to 7.000 euros, and for a disco club - 7.000 euros. The license for an open summer disco is the most expensive – 10.000 euros, although their season is limited to three months.

- According to the Law on catering activities, licenses for disco clubs, outdoor disco clubs, cabaret and night clubs are valid for 1 year and are issued on the basis of attached documentation and paid compensation, according to municipal and City of Skopje decisions. If the catering establishment does not meet the Minimum Technical Conditions (MTU) and the conditions for public order, peace and traffic (for which it submits a notification from the Ministry of the Interior and the State Market Inspectorate) and proof of payment, it is issued a license within 15 days. In case there is a negative opinion from the Ministry of the Interior (due to disturbance of public order and peace) or from the DPI for non-fulfillment of MTU, his request is rejected - the Ministry of Economy explains to "Free Press".

The law stipulates that you may not open a night bar, cabaret or disco club in a business premises located in a collective residential building. The amount of the license fee is determined by the councils of the municipalities and the Council of the City of Skopje. Half of the sums for licenses go to the municipalities, and the other half goes to the account of the state budget. 30 days before the expiration of the validity period of a previously issued license, the Ministry of Economy reminds the holder of the license about the period of its validity.

– Night bars and cabarets can work from 20.00:04.00 p.m. to 1:31 a.m. the following day, on Fridays and Saturdays, opposite holidays and public holidays, as well as in the period from June 25 to August 15 and in the period from December 20.00 to February 05.00 they can work from 31:20 p.m. to 1:2 a.m. the following day, and on December 06.00 until 19.00:04.00 p.m. the following day, January 1 and 31 until 25:15 a.m. the following day. Disco clubs, regardless of whether they are closed or in an open space, can work from 19.00 to 05.00 the next day, on Fridays and Saturdays, opposite holidays and public holidays, as well as in the period from June 31 to August 19 and in the period from December 1 to On February 2, they can work from 06.00:XNUMX p.m. to XNUMX:XNUMX a.m. the following day, and on December XNUMX until XNUMX:XNUMX p.m. the following day, on January XNUMX and XNUMX until XNUMX:XNUMX a.m. the following day - it is written in the Law on Catering Activities.

The restaurateurs claim that there is no night life in Skopje!

In the middle of summer 2022, the owners of summer night clubs in Skopje complained that they were not getting licenses to work. They claimed that the night life in Skopje has completely died down and that they are disadvantaged, and they demanded solutions to this situation from the Government and the ministries. The Ministry of the Interior, on the other hand, pointed out at the time that it was about several caterers with facilities in City Park, whose requirements are legally unsupported and do not meet traffic conditions. Representing their interests, the then president of the Independent Hospitality Chamber, Zdravko Josifovski, opposed the reactions of the civil initiatives that complained about the so-called noise pollution from the City Park in Skopje, commenting that if there had been loud music in the past years, the City could have relocated the facilities.

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