“Merchants are just making ends meet – they're worried the privatisation of Odessa's markets will sink them"
The market is and always was a nightmare. Even when it was public property, it was rented out dirt cheap to some businessmen, who sublet trade spaces at high prices to smaller merchants. The merchants were afraid to say a word, because they could be sent packing at any moment. However, everybody hoped that with a new city administration, this would get sorted out. [Mayor Olesiy Kostusev took office in November 2010]. However, the city recently decided to sell the market to the same businessmen they were already renting it to, making this sorry state of affairs official. The example of other privatized markets in Ukraine demonstrates that rents will rise and be aggravated by all kind of hidden fees. Merchants are just making ends meet as it is.“Many people here who are usually suspicious of nationalists regretted that they didn’t kick the mayor down the Potemkin stairs”Odessa residents were surprised by the clashes at town hall, especially the fact that nationalists were involved, seizing on public discontent to promote their own agenda. Odessa is far from a bastion of nationalism, but it’s true that, these days you can see more and more graffiti saying things like “Proud to be Ukrainian” and “Ukrainian or death”. Many people around me who are usually suspicious of nationalists actually regretted that they didn’t get inside the city hall and kick the mayor down the Potemkin stairs.