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Athens: “Battles” as striking open-air market vendors distribute free veggies & fruits

Chaos prevailed at the open-market of Kolonos district of Athens, when impatient citiznes reportedly demolished the stalls of producers and sellers distributing free vegetables, fruits and fish. 70 tonnes of products were to be given to citizens free of charge in an action supporting the strike of open-air market vendors. The strikers had planned to give one bag of products to each citizen.

laikiAthens

But the people could not wait for the action to start at 10 o’clock in the morning.

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Media report of pokes and quarrels and demolished stalls as the citizens were trying to grab a bag of vegetables, potatoes, fruits or fish. Ambulances were called as some people fainted.

Old ladies had rolled to the market with their carts to fill them with food.

Stunned about the people’s brunt and unable to take the situation under control, the vendors decided to continue the distribution from the safety of their trucks.

Kolonos is one of the poor districts of Athens.

Punch in the nose

Amid the chaos a group of left-wing SYRIZA started to distribute leaflets when one of the members got a punch in the nose.

Video: the attack…

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Initial reports claimed that it was “one angry producer who had attacked”.  Later the SYRIZA activists told private Skai TV that it was a group of “Golden Dawn”.

Open-air market strike vs “reforms”

Thessaloniki: standing in the rain for free veggies

The free distribution was held in several cities across the country as an action to protest the so-called “reforms bill for the operation of open-air markets”.

Fish for free

Vendors of open-air markets went on strike on Monday to protest the so-called reforms for the operation of open-air markets (laiki) prepared by the government. The reforms have not much to do with “boosting competition” – the number one issue on Greece’s economic agenda –  but rather cracking the sector and sending thousands of families to unemployment.

A neighbor, a “laiki” sellers, was telling me the other day that the draft bill originally foresaw also “deprivation of political rights for three years” for misdemeanor law violations, like having an assistant without social security insurance.

More pictures here and here

PS I can’t tell if the crowd and the tension had to do with Greeks’ love for fresh and quality veggies while the open-air markets remain close or whether the people were voters of some Hunger Party

 

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