There are 4,000 licensed sellers who have been waiting as long as 15 years for a permanent stall space in the country’s street markets, data compiled by the General Secretariat for Commerce and Consumer Protection show, pointing to one of several areas where corruption finds a profitable foothold.
The data come in the wake of a police crackdown on a gang of extortionists who were demanding money from street market traders, mainly in the Attica region, in exchange for a privileged spot for their stall or the acceleration of licensing procedures. The figures also point to the authorities’ failure to implement legislation passed in 2017 that, among other regulations, foresaw an electronic platform keeping track of licenses, changes to procedures, fines and sellers’ compliance. This platform has not only failed to materialize, but has not even been put to tender, though sources say the process will be launched within the next few days.
Meanwhile, the secretariat will be forming small regional committees to create a record of all the empty spots in the street markets under their purview, so as to accommodate 4,000 sellers who are currently without a space.