ECONOMY

Open-air markets put in order

open-air-markets-put-in-order

The Development Ministry will attempt to put an end to the phenomena of corruption and entangled interests involved in the system of licensing and positioning traders at open-air markets. It has already prepared a bill and put it up for public consultation.

According to sources, this draft law has provoked reactions even among the ruling party’s deputies, as it is well known that the open-air market licensing apparatus constitutes fertile ground for the development of clientist relationships.

At the same time it is estimated that the bill will strengthen transparency to the benefit of the consumer, as from now on all open-air fruit and vegetable market traders will have to inform the e-Katanalotis online platform about their starting prices and available quantity of products on the morning the outdoor market is set up.

The bill provides for the announcement of predetermined slots with respective licenses, operated by the authorities that run each market. For the orderly operation of open-air trade and the monitoring of the licenses issued, there will be an online database that will also update the data and record inspections and the fines imposed and paid.

Each trader active at open-air markets will be obliged to enter their slot number and the starting price and quantity of their merchandise (concerning fruit, vegetables, fresh fish and other seafood) on a special digital platform on e-Katanalotis before 8 a.m. on market day. Failing to do so will entail a fine of 500 euros.

The bill further allows for the creation of more modern markets by their operating authorities, with uniform benches, electricity and sewage infrastructure, recycling bins, recreational spaces and the right of freelancers to participate with different activities to those provided for in the bill.

Other provisions of the draft law introduce street food markets, allow for the participation of artists and social cooperatives, establish the option of market product delivery services, and offer the option of buying merchandise online, although the latter is not specifically mentioned in the latest text.