Greek Restaurants Join European "Empty chairs" Protest

Αssociated Press

Empty chairs with various slogans from the union of bars and restaurants owners are placed at Athens main Syntagma square Wednesday, May 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

ATHENS - Greek cities participated in "empty chairs", a European event to protest the shutdown of restaurants and food places during the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic repercussions on the sector, at or near 20:00 on Wednesday.

The National Federation of Restaurants and Related Professionals had announced on Tuesday it would participate, and called on the government to support the sector which faced permanent loss of businesses.

Empty chairs were set up at Syntagma Square in Athens, in Chania and Iraklio on Crete, and at the central Greek cities in Larissa and in Patras, among others.

In Chania, chairs and a table were set up at the Yiali Tzamisi Square at the city's Venetian Port at 19:30.

In Iraklio, hundreds of chairs were spaced two meters apart from the city hall to the Lions Square. The chairs were also set up forming 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, which a local union representative said had 3,000 businesses employing 30,000 people.

As part of the gradual lifting of lockdown measures, the government approved the opening of take-out places on Monday and is considering allowing food places to provide outdoor seating, but indoor restaurants remain out of operation.