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Rhodes cracks down on traders

Rhodes castle a major attraction

Rhodes cracks down on street traders.

The city mayor of Rhodes has pledged to crack down on illegal street traders over the summer holiday season in Rhodes. An ultimatum was made this week by city mayor Stathis Kousournas after a meeting with police chiefs, council officials and trade representatives. He warned that illegal street traders found setting up stalls inside the walls of the medieval city of Rhodes on unauthorised sites will face criminal charges.

Police have turned a blind eye to rogue street traders in the past and many say the traders add extra local colour to the street scene in old Rhodes where thousands of tourists are attracted by the medieval buildings.

But legitimate traders claim pitches are being taken by rogue traders who pay nothing for permits to trade and the Rhodes city council has now drawn up areas where street vendors will be allowed to trade, with plans to enforce strict compliance.

Street traders have been fighting the council for years over restrictions on places where they can set up stalls. A court case is currently under way over the rights to trade opposite the old Venetian shipyard and along the sea front.

But the Mayor warned: "We will not tolerate traders in the city centre without permits or without respecting the law. We will not tolerate any other position. Those who make application and have legally qualified they will go to the outlined areas to trade. All others will be illegal."