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No coffee, no souvlaki: Overwhelming majority joins food service strike across Greece (pcts_

Busy cafes and restaurants, traditional souvlaki grills and snack bars in Athens and other big cities but also in towns and small villages were shut down on Tuesday to participate in 24-hour strike of the food service sector. The strike is a protest move as the sector seeks financial support by the government for imposing restrictions for the unvaccinated.


The protest mobilization was launched by the Association of the food service sector E      . While strike participation outside urban centers seems overwhelming, there are estimations of 60% to 70% in Athens and other big cities.

Strike-breakers are the food service chains and their franchise branches.

In our neighborhood in a suburb in southern Athens, two taverns and three coffee shops are closed and the elderly pensioners who enjoy their morning coffee with a chat flocked to the franchise of a fast food, the only venue open today..

In Thessaloniki, locals were seeing queuing for a coffee to go outside the few stores that were open.

ουρές καφέ take away

Employers and employees of the sector, however, gathered outside the Macedonia-Thrace ministry symbolically carrying coffins to mark the ‘funeral’ of the sector.

In Patras, protesters carried balloons with sculls.

Πάτρα – Απεργία στην εστίαση: Μαύρα μπαλόνια με νεκροκεφαλές στη συγκέντρωση διαμαρτυρίας

In Athens riot police moved to hinder protesters coming close to the Greek Parliament.

Απεργία στην εστίαση: Κατέβασαν ρολά καφέ, μπαρ και εστιατόρια - Ένταση στην πορεία διαμαρτυρίας για τα μέτρα

πορεία επεισόδια εστίαση

Since the requirement of negative Rapid or PCR test for unvaccinated customers in cafes and restaurants, revenues dropped by 50%.

“Just two in 150 customers came with a Rapid test,” the owner of a big venue in downtown Athens told media.

A Rapid test is available at a cost of 10 euros, while the price for a coffee ranges between €2 and €4.

“We cannot play policeman to our customers” other restaurant and cafe owners said adding that “unvaccinated turned their back to the sector.”

Λαμία – Απεργία στην εστίαση: Τα ειρωνικά χειροκροτήματα έξω από καφετέριες που άνοιξαν

In Lamia, central Greece, protester ironically applauded outside open venues that did not join the strike.

Greece is currently reporting its highest daily number of confirmed COVID-19 infections since the start of the pandemic and the highest rate of death in six months, prompting the government to re-impose some restrictions that target roughly a third of the country’s population that remains unvaccinated.

Public health advisors to the government are backing tougher capacity restrictions for businesses, and officials are due to decide on whether to implement the proposals later this week.

Giorgos Kavathas, leader of Greece’s largest small business association, said demands from the government included tax breaks and rent subsidies.

“We support the public health measures but we also need assistance,” he told state run television. “Let’s not forget that in the last 20 months, catering businesses were closed for at least nine and others without outdoor customer spaces were closed for 12 months. The money that was lost will never be regained so clearly we need to have a serious discussion.”

Development & Investment Minister Adonis Georgiadis stated that there has been “no reason for the strike as the government has no money to give to the sector.”

Restaurants, cafes, taverns and the whole sector worked only with take away and delivery during the 7-month-long lockdown in 2020-2021. They received state support, however, many businesses were no able to open again in late spring/early summer when restrictions were lifted.

with info and pictures from ap, thesstoday, KTG, theToc, newsit,

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  1. So lets go on strike for 24 hours to protest at lossses caused through the Covid sitatuation…yet by very doing so loose a days takings – because that makes sense doesn”t it!!! Clearly the thousands of businesses that closed could afford to loose a days takings then. Maybe if a lot of these businesses actually took the stance of saying to their customers “please, take your vaccine and lets all help protect each other and ensure we can keep our businesses open without any draconian restrictions potentially enforced over the Winter, then they wouldn’t be losing money and blaming it on Covid in the first place.

    Yes, we all have the right to choose if we get vaccinated or not, but this is NOT going away until people start to understand that by taking the vaccine is going to be the only real option to be able to carry on as ‘normal’ going forward.

    • Yeah, we see how that vaccination “helps” in really high vaccinated countries, really.
      How stupid can be to still believe that BS?

    • Hear, hear!! There is NO other way out of this than through the vaccine! To try and ignore, say the covid does not exist (opa, a lot of people dies!) or some mad conspiracy theory will not stop the pandemia! Just cant understand those mad people who say they wont take the jabs! Millions of people has and we are still alive and kicking!!

  2. Amen to that.

  3. Yes, the vaccines worked so well that now we must protect the vaccinated from the unvaccinated! This is nothing but a joke. The policies of the majority of governments have been total failures in everything that has to do with the Covid19 disaster. It will go down as the biggest fiasco/scandal/show of incompetence in the entire history of modern medicine. As usual the people always pay the price for governmental/corporate incompetence, greed, ignorance and indifference.

  4. There seem to be an uplift in the the numbers of unvaccinated wanting now to be vaccinated. Perhaps they have finally realised (or not) that they are missing out on noting being able to meet for coffee/meals/shopping in retail stores.

    • That uplift is caused by desperation: the vaccine hesitant, usually parents, who cannot afford to lose their jobs.

      Since vaccination doesn’t prevent the vaccinated from getting covid (not just once but several times) AND spreading it, what is the sense of pretending that the unvaccinated pose a health risk to the vaccinated? We ALL pose a health risk. By the way this is not my assertion – I am quoting the WHO, the British Health service and countless studies. It is clear by now that the vaccines are not very effective, while carrying serious health risks in themselves.

      This is why more than half the countries in the world, including some “first world’ and EU countries, have abandoned vaccination drives, passports and other restrictions and opt instead to treat covid with available remedies.

      We can wonder, too, why the US aligned countries outlawed these remedies and pretended there was no treatment.

      But let’s not let facts and logic get in the way of propaganda!