Saturday, 9 August 2008

Dissatisfaction increases at the Central Market

Cambodge Soir

The shopkeepers fear that the size of their stalls will be decreased after the renovation works.

On Tuesday, about one hundred shopkeepers from the Central Market demonstrated in front of the municipality building in order to express their dissatisfaction concerning the renovation project.

The source of their anger comes from the fact that, according to the plans that they received, the size of their stalls will get smaller at the end of the works.

A clothes shop with currently a surface of 2.5 square metres will only measure 1.4 square metres. Another example: the shop of a kitchenware seller, currently measuring 5 x 4 metres, will decrease to 2 x 1.5 metres, according to the demonstrators.

Unacceptable for the shopkeepers who demand that their stalls “remain the same size, at the same place and within the same business category at the end of the renovation”. On Monday they handed over a petition to the municipality, asking the Phnom Penh governor to help them with their demands.

The petition brings up the promises of the market chief from February 2006, who then committed not to change the situation of the stalls after renovation.

After meeting with one of the deputy governors of the municipality, he committed to “discussing the matter on Tuesday 10th of August”, in order to solve the situation.

During the afternoon, the market authorities increased pressure on the shopkeepers, which didn’t help to calm the atmosphere before the Tuesday meeting.

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