Open-air market vendors stage protest in Athens

Vendors at Greece’s open-air street markets, known as “laiki,” were on a 24-hour strike Wednesday protesting the government’s plans to facilitate entry into the profession.

The vendors were scheduled to stage a protest on Karaiskaki Square, after initial plans for gathering on Syntagma Square were rejected by police.

One of the reforms calls for the abolition of lifelong licenses, replacing them with permits that need to be renewed every three years.

The street vendors union has expressed concers that the liberalization of the profession will open the for big companies to take over stalls and create an oligopoly in the market. The street vendor sector is one of dozens of professional sectors that remain to be liberalized in line with demands from the country’s international creditors.

Eastern Attica vendors were not expected to participate in Wednesday’s industrial action.