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Yerevan Street Vendors Say They’ll Sell their Goods Outside City Hall Tomorrow

Yerevan street traders who normally work in the area on Tigran Mets Ave. across the street from Rossiya trade center say that around 2 pm today about a dozen officials from city hall arrived and began pushing, shoving and insulting the vendors.

Despite the city’s ban on street trade, the women (as the street traders are mostly women) continue to do their trade since, according to them, they have to pay rent in the markets, which they are unable to do considering the small-scale trading they do.

I’ve gone to Rossiya and you have to pay, one woman told Epress.am.

“It’s been said that for you there will be free of charge places because you’re very poor, but now you are disregarding the authorities’ demand,” responded one city employee.

“That’s not true — it’s been 20 years these authorities have been disregarding me, have thrown me on the street, it has contempt for my citizenship, where is ii, is there a living? There’s simply a slew of price increases — that has to be overcome or not? It’s for these rejects that my husband has gone and fought and hasn’t returned; from top to bottom, it’s for these rejects,” said the street trader with tears welling up in her eyes.

According to her, city hall staff and two officers had arrived since the morning, and in the afternoon, one of the woman fainted and they were forced to call an ambulance.

Another street trader, Gayane, told Epress.am that the woman became ill when city hall employee Arman Yedoyan insulted her.

“He was hurling terrible insults. Let me build a place of employment. The amount of money they spend, let them build a place of work — that’s the only thing I can say to these damned authorities,” she said.

Tomorrow they’ll be doing their trade across the street from city hall, Gayane added.

“Tomorrow, 20–30 of us, whatever we have, we’ll take it and go, put it across from city hall and sell — we have no other choice; they’ve made the people homeless,” she said.