Five thousands farmers’ market vendors held a rally on Friday blocking circulation in central Athens. The vendors, who closed their street markets indefinitely this week, are protesting against the Ministry of Growth’s draft bill which affects their sector.
They gathered outside the Greek Parliament where lawmakers were discussing the controversial bill. The demonstrators announced that they are determined to continue their struggle and protest actions all over the country.
The president of the Democratic Left, Fotis Kouvelis who met with the producers’ federations, requested the controversial bill to be withdrawn. Alexis Tsipras, the leader of SYRIZA has also made a similar request.
The president of the open-air market producer federation, Vasilis Makridis stated that after receiving thousands of phone calls from consumers, the open-air markets in Central and Western Macedonia, Thessaly and Thrace will operate on Saturday as an exception and that the strike will start again on Monday.
This week, farmers and producers handed out tons of fruit and vegetables as part of their protests. The protesters believe that the draft bill of the Growth Ministry will bring chaos to their sector, as it includes provisions such as setting limitations on the number of participants in the open-air markets, segregating producers from retailers, increasing fines and further complicating the permit process.