Seventy vendors march on headquarters of district executive committee in Rechytsa over dispute with market owner

A group of some 70 market vendors marched on the headquarters of the Rechytsa District Executive Committee on Friday to urge local officials to intervene into their dispute with the owner of a market in the city in southeastern Belarus.

As small business activist Aleh Shabetnik told BelaPAN, Donaprys, the company that owns the Slavyanski market, has recently notified the vendors of its plans to sell the market's stalls at an auction.

The news came after a row between the owner and the vendors over the market's redevelopment. Donaprys managers suggested that each stallholder should contribute four million rubels ($1,860) for the project, but the vendors did not agree and found a different contractor who was ready to charge each stallholder only 2,860,000 rubels ($1,330). «But the Donaprys management did not like our independent move and they told us today that the company would renovate the market at its own expense and then auction off all stalls,» Mr. Shabetnik said.

Five of the vendors were received by Vyachaslaw Pamaleyka, deputy chairman of the district executive committee, and informed the official about their woes.

A representative of the Homyel Regional Union of Consumer Cooperative Society, which controls Donaprys, was expected to visit the market on September 8 to discuss the dispute with stallholders.