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    Moscow mayor says notorious market will not reopen

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    Moscow authorities have no plans to resume trade at Moscow's Cherkizovsky market, closed in late June, Mayor Yury Luzhkov said on a regional TV channel.

    MOSCOW, July 15 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow authorities have no plans to resume trade at Moscow's Cherkizovsky market, closed in late June, Mayor Yury Luzhkov said on a regional TV channel.

    Cherkizovsky market, notorious for racist attacks on immigrants, several fires, a deadly explosion and criminality, was closed by order of Russia's consumer watchdog Rospotrebnadzor on June 29 after a series of checks revealed 464 violations of fire safety regulations. The market was first ordered closed in 2007, but the closure was repeatedly postponed.

    "The Cherkizovsky market will be removed, it [the market's territory] will be used for other purposes, which would have no relation to market activities," Luzhkov said Tuesday on the TVTs.

    Most vendors have already started to file applications for the withdrawal of their goods from the market, and city authorities plan to remove all goods from Cherkizovsky by the end of 2009.

    An investigation is being carried out into the storage of a large batch of children's goods certified as dangerous. Investigators said they had found 6,000 containers of smuggled goods worth $2 billion at Cherkizovsky. Russia's chief sanitary doctor Gennady Onishchenko said on Monday that material evidence had already been submitted to court.

    More than 100,000 people, many of them illegal migrants, have been left without jobs following the market's closure.

    The head of Moscow's labor and employment department said the city could assist in employing those who lost their jobs after the market's closure on the condition that they have all the necessary documents. However, Moscow authorities admit there is currently little demand for such workers.

    "I doubt they would like our proposals," Oleg Netrebsky said.

    There are currently about 6,500 vacant positions at other Moscow markets, where sellers who have Russian citizenship could be employed. Under the law foreigners are forbidden to trade at markets.

     

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