The Italian Almanac

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street hawker

Italian News - October 4

A businessman who was unable to hold a working lunch at a sidewalk cafe' because of a continued parade of street hawkers has decided to sue the Eternal City for damages. His case has been taken on by the consumer rights group Codacons which explained that "while we have nothing against street vendors, the serenity of citizens must be respected, especially when they are at a public establishment".

The incident was explained by Codacons chairman Carlo Rienzi who said that "as soon as the person in question sat at a cafe' table with his collaborators he was approached by eight street hawkers who, one after the other, interrupted a business meeting by placing their wares on the table. These included CDs, socks, watches and pirate DVDs". "It was a true assault which made holding the meeting impossible and the businessman had no choice but to suspend the meeting, pay the bill and leave," he added.

According to Rienzi, it was decided to sue the city rather than the operator of the cafe' in question because "rather than just try to scare away these hawkers, city officials should defend those who offer their wares without bothering people and offer education courses for those who accost people on the street or approach would-be clients at bars and restaurants".