Traders protest on Malinauka car market
15:39, — Society
Traders of the Malinauka car market have protested against high rent.
Traders held a meeting today on the car market Torgovy Mir-Koltso in Minsk's Malinauka district against high rent and uncomfortable working conditions, Nasha Niva reports.
The market traders already gathered two weeks ago to present their demands to the administration. Tens of people who lease retail spaces on the market came to the Automall administrative floor at 11:00.
“Only few people visited the market in winter. Trade activity moves to the Internet. In these conditions the administration doesn't want to make concessions to clients and continues to raise rental costs,” a market trader says.
“I sell used car parts on 8 square metres. I paid 6 million rubles for them. Listen, it's almost 600 dollars! You gain 500 dollars and have to pay 600 for rent. I have to borrow money from my mother, who is on pension,” seller Uladzimir joined the conversation.
Traders say the administration receives money, but doesn't want to improve the market.
“I pay 42 euros per square metre, but I saw dirt and puddles everywhere. They cannot even fill them with gravel. We have the most expensive puddles in Belarus,” someone from the crowd says.
The market traders are waiting for the director and discussing protests in Ukraine. They say the administration raises rent 10% every quarter and explains it with fluctuations in the euro rate.
The director didn't appear even 40 minutes later. People explain he is afraid of cameras and journalists. The market traders decide to visit him in the office.
A security guard doesn't allow them to go. He says the director is busy and will receive visitors from 14:00.
The market traders went to the information board to read about the new rental rates that take effect on April 1.
People say nothing has changed.
“Look, the market is divided into sectors. There are four sectors for used car parts. The rent was reduced 6 euros for the sector A and raised 2 euros for the sector C, the farthest and the most unpopular one. These are the only changes we have,” a man says.
Rental charges for sellers of new car parts were also reduced to 65 euros per sq m a month for retail spaces of under 12 sq m and 50 euros for retail spaces of over 20 sq m.
“They raised it 100% and now cut by 13 euros. Good guys,” an angry market seller complains.
The market administration failed to fulfill other demands of traders. They asked the right to suspend leasing contract for a period of holiday or illness and allow sellers to enter the market territory for free. Now both sellers and market visitors have to pay for entrance.
The market traders returned to work after the unsuccesful attempt to visit the director. They didn't agree on further steps.
One of the traders proposed to file a joint complaint to the Minsk city executive committee and terminate leasing contracts together, but his initiative didn't find support.
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