ECONOMY

Market vendors’ demands

Producers of fruit, vegetables and flowers sold in street markets plan to propose to the government that street markets open in the afternoon as well and that they be allowed to import goods if necessary. Producers of fruit and vegetables, as well as street markets, have been targeted by government officials, who suspect them of overpricing their goods and also of tax evasion. To combat the latter, the government will oblige street market vendors to install cash registers, a measure they vehemently oppose. Fruit and vegetables have contributed a big share to Greece’s persistent inflation: harmonized with other eurozone countries, Greek inflation is 3.6 percent, while the eurozone average is 2 percent. Street markets are supposed to be strictly producers’ markets, although some vendors are not producers but buy their produce from wholesalers at the central market. On Monday, the representatives of those producers and vendors will meet with Deputy Development Minister Kimon Koulouris, recently appointed to help fight inflation. They are expected to demand they be allowed to keep street markets open in the afternoon two or three days a week. If granted, this measure will be convenient for many customers, but it will also benefit producers at the expense of greengrocers and supermarkets. The federation of producers selling their wares at street markets said in a statement yesterday that prices of farm products are «determined by supply and demand and are directly dependent on weather conditions, production and transport costs, quantity, quality and season.» They will also ask Koulouris to be allowed to sell imported goods when production is low as a result of weather conditions or other causes.