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Retailers in 3 cities symbolically open their stores in protest against gov’t decision

They opened their stores and hanged black flags, banners and funeral announcements. They turned on the lights and stood at the entrance doors of their empty shops. Retailers in Thessaloniki, Patras and Kozani did not accept customers as this would risk a 3,000 euros fine for them and 300 for their customers.

“With government decision on Friday midnight – We are living dead – Sorry, we cannot serve you.”

With the symbolic opening of their shops, retailers in Thessaloniki, Patras and Kozani staged a protest against a last minute government decision to excluded the three regions from the retail re-start after 5 months of lockdown.

In an extraordinary meeting on Friday evening, epidemiologists decided that the viral load in the regional units of Thessaloniki, Achaia and Kozani was much to high and therefore the shops should remain closed.

What made local businessmen furious was that two days earlier, on Wednesday, when the Civil Protection announced the start of the retail again on April 5, their regions were not excluded. Many had rushed to renew products and windows and ordered seasonal goods.

The announcement by Finance Minister Christos Staikouras that they will received an aid of 1,000 to 4,000 euros did not comfort them.

We don’t beg for money, we want our business to open again, we want to work again,” retailers told media.

In all other regional units across the country, retail stores opened despite the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Consumers must type their names and send an sms to special phone line <13032>. They are allowed to move between municipalities but not leave the regional unit. The sms has a duration of 3 hours and is allowed only once per day.

The General Secretary of Consumer’s Protection warned, however, on Monday that the retail may shut down again, if the protection measures are not observed or the infections rise dramatically.


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