Joint action on illegal traders
Three government ministries and the City of Athens agreed yesterday to launch a joint crackdown on illegal street vendors in the center of town, ahead of the August Olympics. At a meeting between Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis, Deputy Finance Minister Adam Regouzas, Deputy Development Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou and Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis, it was decided to send four-strong teams against the thousands of illegal street vendors who ply their wares on the city’s pavements and squares – to the intense irritation of shopowners and legitimate stall-holders. The operation will start this week. «The spectacle of illegal street vendors in our city can no longer be tolerated,» Bakoyannis told journalists. «I am very glad that we will be able to jointly address the matter – with success, I believe – over the next three months.» Illegal trade inspection teams will consist of one representative each from the police, the municipal police, the financial crime squad and the Development Ministry.