Greek Farmers’ Markets Employees Protest… With Their Underwear

Greek-farmers-markets-employees-protestGreek agricultural producers and merchants who sell their produce at weekly street markets organized all across Greece, held earlier on Monday an original and “unique” demonstration outside the Greek parliamentary building in downtown Athens, throwing men’s and women’s underwear towards the building while also using them as banners.

“They even took our underwear,” said the gathered crowd, figuratively, accusing New Democracy and PASOK‘s ruling coalition government for the harsh austerity measures that are driving farmers’ markets out of business and further impoverish the Greek households solely relying on agriculture, while also handing a resolution of their positions to the Greek Agriculture Ministry.

Since Monday, April 28, Greek farmers’ markets employees are on an indefinite strike, protesting against a new outdoor commerce bill deliberated in Parliament.

Employees are opposed to several provisions of the new bill concerning the selection criteria of farmers and vendors participating in each market, the limited number of stalls attributed to each local market and the heavy fines and penalties imposed on farmers and vendors.

“The new bill is a gravestone for farmers’ markets. They want to destroy the markets and promote big supermarkets, instead. Consumers, however, won’t benefit from the bill while the prices at the farmers’ markets won’t be reduced,” the Greek Farmers’ Market Federation mentioned.

“Only farmers and vendors benefited by the existing situation are demonstrating and abetting the strike,” Greek Deputy Agriculture Minister Athanassios Skordas told journalists, while wondering why farmers who are acting illegally shouldn’t be punished.

Farmers’ markets employees are scheduled Tuesday to blockade the central vegetable market of Renti in Athens, in protest at the bill.



  1. Fortunately, I listened to the Minister in charge for this bill and his words was the opposite then what the farmers are saying. With this new bill, the farmers will have more opportunities to trade freely for years to come without the need to renew their licence every 3 years but also to keep their licence within the family, they will be able to trade side by side with producers and more changes to their benefits. This strike is because they will lose lots of undeclared income.

  2. If licenses are not renewed and instead are held within the family then it becomes another oligarchy. Simple rules of operation, first come first served yearly license, standards for hygiene, a variety of produce and mandatory participation. This isn’t rocket science it’s an agora. Keep it simple, clean, reputable and people will come.