Food service enterprises around the country will close this Thursday, November 11, in a symbolic act of protest against the new restrictions imposed on the sector since Saturday, and mainly the fact they have come without any offsetting measures.
The decision for a 24-hour strike, which will also include a protest rally at 11 a.m. that day in central Athens, was made after a fruitless meeting between the sector’s federation (POESE) and the prime minister on Monday morning.
Retail commerce also saw turnover dive over the weekend, despite the good weather, with comparisons with the same weekend two years earlier showing a 30% drop. Last year the second lockdown began on November 7.
The first action in the food service sector took place in Patra, southern Greece, with almost all such companies remaining closed throughout the day on Monday, with POESE’s support.
The food service federation protests that not only does it have to make do with additional restrictions without any offsetting measures, but each enterprise must also take the role of checking the compliance of customers on its premises regarding the Civid rules, according to POESE’s statement.
The offsetting measures the sector is demanding are the following: no repayment of the state loans known as the Deposit To Be Returned, the resumption of rental exemptions and furloughs, exemption from council tax payment, a reduction of the value-added tax rate on food service to 6%, and the extension of subsidies for loan tranches and new credit issued similar to that of late 2020 and early 2021.
However, other sectors hurt by the restrictions on the unvaccinated have not secured any new support: Sources say the government is set to examine a demand by retailers – mainly small and medium-sized commercial enterprises – to restrict the sale of industrial commodities (apparel, homeware, electrical appliances etc) at supermarkets, so as to avoid unfair competition, as entry is open to everyone.