Chinese shopkeepers protest in Madrid

28th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

Hundreds of Chinese shopkeepers demonstrated in Madrid pm Monday to demand the right to sell beer and wine, in what Spanish media said was the first public protest by the community.

Some 200 demonstrators marched to the door of Madrid town hall with a stack of application papers for the so-called "second licences" that let convenience stores sell alcohol.

They said the licences were crucial to their economic survival but were being denied to them by local officials.

"Without this authorisation we cannot function," one of the leaders of the demonstration, Juan-Carlos Zheng, told AFP, before being escorted into the town hall with the box full of applications.

Chinese owners run large numbers of businesses in and around the Spanish capital. Organisers of Monday's protest complained that they were being denied licences and fined hundreds of thousands of euros for selling alcohol.

They hoisted bamboo canes with banners reading "I pay my taxes, I want a second licence" and "Help us to integrate", along with red and yellow Spanish and Chinese flags.

© 2011 AFP

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