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Street traders face problems

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, August 5
Street traders are the index of what is going on in the country. When protest rallies start and the opposition come out into the streets they are immediately followed by street traders. If you take a look at the area near the railway station where the old Desertire Bazaar was you will see hundreds of street traders selling goods in conditions far from meeting sanitary norms.

For an ordinary citizen this situation has a double significance. On the one hand the products sold in the street are rather cheap, but very often of very low quality or not of the weight one has paid for. The street trading areas also become ugly, disorganised and dirty, although the traders themselves claim that this is the only way they can support their families. However street trading also creates financial problems. Most of the street traders donít pay any taxes to the state. They pay the owners of the nearby houses for permission to put up stalls there, so this money passes out of state control.

Now the opposition protests have calmed down a bit the authorities and the police have started clamping down on chaotic street trading. The first attack has been launched on Zugdidi and Kutaisi street traders, but eventually the campaign will reach Tbilisi. Of course when the state does such things it should also suggest to the street traders alternative ways they can conduct their business and earn a living.