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In Spain, street vendors organize against coronavirus

In normal times, they spread their cover and display glasses, soccer jerseys and shoes – often counterfeit – in major Spanish tourist spots. At the Puerta del Sol in Madrid, on the Ramblas in Barcelona… And, at the sight of the police, they pull on the ropes to close everything and take the tangent. The classic cat and mouse game.

However without tourists and in a confined country, because of Covid-19 the manteros, these street vendors have nothing to live for. It’s a daily economy. Without exit, more sales and therefore more money. We are invisible , laments Malick Gueye, 38, a spokesperson for the union of manteros from Madrid.

So they organized themselves to support themselves. On the model of “resistance funds” which exist to help a sick or unable to work companion on an ad hoc basis, they have built up a “basic income” thanks to a donation campaign. Last month, we were able to give € 200 to sixty sellers, continues Malick Gueye. For the next month, one hundred and seventy-two manteros have registered. We will give between 50 and 200 €, depending on what we will receive. Each seller thus manages his income and can send part of it to his family, especially in Senegal where the majority are from.

Solidarity with hospitals

Similar initiatives have emerged in Barcelona or Bilbao. In the Basque city, more than € 8,000 was thus collected. In Barcelona, ​​the local street vendors union opted for food aid, distributing food and basic necessities to around 300 people. In demand for regularization, the latter have just offered 5,000 masks and gowns to Catalan hospitals, which they themselves made, flocked with their own brand, Manta top. Precarious but united.


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