Friday, May 2, 2014

Athens Protesters Take Their Underwear to Parliament

Open-air market vendors hung their underwear outside the Greek Parliament to protest a series of reforms that will economically destroy 50,000 families, they claim

Symbolic protest based on the Greek phrase “mas piran ta sovraka” ("they deprived us of our panties") meaning "they stole everything".

Men and women, fruit and vegetables vendors and producers gathered in Kaningos Square and marched to the Greek Parliament where they staged their unique protest. Fruit and vegetable vendors at open-air markets (laiki) went on indefinite strike on Monday as they disagree with the draft bill of the Development Ministry. Main points of dispute:

  • Municipalities will decide about the number of sellers and producers in the weekly open-air market.  
  • The location of selling stands will change very year and thus per lottery.
  • €1,000-€5,000 fines, jail sentences from 3 months to one year and sanctions for law violations.  
  • Separations of producers’ and sellers’ stands. 
  • Increased bureaucracy for the license issuing.

Producers and sellers say that the reforms serve 'big interests' and threaten to continue their strike until the dispute with the ministry is solved. Open-air markets are held weekly in several neighborhoods and districts across the country’s cities and offer fresh fruits and vegetables much cheaper than the supermarkets. More pictures here.