Greek cities participated in “Empty Chairs”, a Europe-wide event to protest the shutdown of restaurants and cafes during the Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing severe economic repercussions on the sector, on Wednesday.
The National Federation of Restaurants and Related Professionals had announced on Tuesday that it would participate in the event, and called on the government to support the sector, which has in some cases suffered the permanent closures of businesses.
Empty chairs were set up in Syntagma Square in Athens, in Thessaloniki, in Chania and Iraklio on Crete, and in the central Greek cities of Larissa and Patras, among others.
In Chania, chairs and a table were set up at Yiali Tzamisi Square in the city’s Venetian Port at 19:30. In Iraklio, hundreds of chairs were spaced exactly two meters apart from city hall to Lions Square.
White chairs were also set up to form an “SOS” in the square of the popular Larissa fortress, while a similar action was held at other locations in the prefecture as well.
Over 1,200 chairs were set up at Georgiou Square in Patras, a city which a local union representative said had 3,000 businesses which employ 30,000 people.
As part of the gradual lifting of lockdown measures, the Greek government approved the opening of take-out establishments on Monday and is considering allowing some restaurants to provide outdoor seating; however, indoor restaurants remain out of operation.