Employees from the Markopoulo Racecourse in Athens rode into the Greek capital on horseback on Thursday to protest its uncertain future and current closure, which has left hundreds of people out of work.
Protestors complained that the racecourse is closed until the end of the year, leaving 2,000 families and 350 horses on the road.
“I am a coach at the racecourse, for 47 years. We want the race track to open,” an employee told MEGA. “We ask for a hearing from the prime minister so that the venue does not close.”
“Races take place every Monday at the racecourse. The Hellenic Republic Asset Development (HRDH) made a contract with the government and OPAP in 2015. They gave the horse race betting to OPAP,” explained another employee.
“At the moment, OPAP wants to close the racecourse. They do not want Greek horse races to continue. OPAP, the government and the HRDH must sit at a table and find a solution,” the employee added.
A third employee, speaking to ERT, pointed out that the racetrack may be considered a spectacle, but for them it is their livelihood which is in danger.
It should be noted that some of those that gathered complained that the police threatened them with arrests in order to disperse the protest, however they themselves emphasised that this is a peaceful gathering and they do not intend to block roads.