Joint action posed on illegal street vendors

Government and municipal officials are to join forces to find ways of cracking down on illegal street vendors ahead of the August Olympics, it was decided yesterday. Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis and Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis discussed ways of addressing the problem, and agreed to hold a more extensive discussion with the deputy ministers for economy and development. Only 160 people hold permits for stalls in the city center, where thousands of illegal vendors – mainly economic migrants – sell their wares. Bakoyannis has pledged to deploy the municipal police against illegal traders. Yesterday, Voulgarakis proposed joint action with the Greek police, and inspectors of the Economy and Development ministries. According to the Consumer Institute (INKA), illegal vendors account for some 30 percent of all trade conducted in Greece.