Street market vendors intensify action as reform bill debated in Parliament

As street market vendors protested in central Athens over planned changes to their sector on Friday, government and opposition lawmakers clashed in Parliament over legislation outlining the troika-imposed reforms.

Speaking to Skai, Deputy Development Minister Athanasios Skordas said that the legislation, which is to be put to a vote by Monday, aims to correct injustices while boosting competition and insisted that it would end up benefiting traders, producers and consumers in the long-term.

Street vendors have been on strike this week in open-ended action aimed at drawing attention to their plight. Speaking to Skai earlier on Friday, the head of the national union representing street market vendors, Pantelis Moschos, said that the government was avoiding their calls for dialogue. "They run off in a panic the moment they see us," he said.

On Saturday, street market vendors are to distribute free produce in Perissos, northern Athens. Similar handouts have been held in other parts of Attica to raise public awareness.