All Markets in Bolivia to Close on Feb. 10
Market stalls throughout the country will be closed on Thursday, 10 February as vendors protest against high prices and what they deem to be unfair competition by government-owned EMAPA stores. Union leaders claim the government has monopolized the sale of certain foods such as sugar, which since the opening of EMAPA, has doubled in price. They state that by contracting with sugar mills to purchase all available sugar produced, for example, the government has effectively made it impossible for other wholesalers and vendors to purchase or sell the product. Over the past three months sugar has become scarce and people have had to wait in line or search in multiple places to find the product. They fear the same will occur with other products which are also becoming scarce, such as corn and cement. The latter is being sold in rations. The unions are demanding the government close EMAPA as they fear it will begin to monopolize the sale of other products as well.
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