Solís bill would keep vendors on Calle 13

The central government has presented a proposed law that would allow merchants who sell souvenirs to remain along the west side of Plaza de la Democracia.

The Municipalidad de San José would like to reclaim the area, which is Calle 13.

Among the initial actions by Luis Guillermo Solís when he took office was what he called lifting the veto of a bill that was imposed by former president Óscar Arias Sánchez in 2009. Lawmakers had passed a bill to let the vendors stay, but the veto nullified the bill.

Solís coupled his decree with a walking tour of the souvenir market where he was greeted warmly by the merchants.

This month, the Sala IV constitutional court said that the president did not have the power to change the decisions of previous presidents. So a new proposed law has been drafted.

Solís said in a statement that the bill is vital to the income for some 200 families. The merchants have been on the street for 20 years, Casa Presidencial noted. The vendors used to be at Plaza de la Cultura, but they were evicted from that site in 1994.

The municipality has prepared a building several blocks away as a souvenir market, but the merchants have said the site is out of the way for tourists.

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