in the center of Mestre, the stolen market

VENICE – In London there is Portobello Road, in Paris the Flea Market, in Rome Porta Portese, in Lisbon the Feira da Ladra. In Mestre, on the other hand, there are the gardens of via Tasso, but with two substantial differences compared to these famous flea markets: firstly, there is nothing to regulate here and the sale is completely illegal. Second, the merchandise is not used but stolen.
The phenomenon, became fashionable again a few days ago, it started a few years ago: that of via Tasso is not a park, it is a tiny green space between the two parallel ridges of Mestre, Corso del Popolo and via cappuccino. It works like this: sellers receive the goods shoplifting in different supermarkets of the region then resell it here at advantageous prices. The situation is not unknown to the authorities: local police have carried out several roundups in the past year, the most recent in mid-December. On this occasion, the police had confiscated clothing and foodstuffs hidden in two bags. Two women from the East, both caregivers, had been reported as clients (and therefore at risk of filing a complaint for concealment). One of them was buying a bicycle, the other was found with clothes and bags of salmon. Investigators then reconstructed that the merchandise had been stolen shortly before from supermarkets in the region.
Occasionally the market, after each intervention, freezes for a while. Then, however, everything returns as before. And in recent days the turnover has increased exponentially: in addition to food and bicycles, in fact, even cell phones.
The sellers are divided into several groups: cI am Italian and there are foreigners. The customers, or rather the clients, are mainly the caregivers in the neighborhood. The first shift, as Irina says, is shortly after 2 p.m. “It’s usually the busiest shift. We buy a bit of everything: pasta, tuna, desserts. The prices are much lower than in the supermarket, everything more within reach of our wages”.
And yesterday at 2 p.m., punctually, there was a full house: more than forty people from door to door, lined up and waiting their turn. The merchants are in pairs, they are two Italians, and they pass with four bags (two each) bench by bench, in front of each group. And there begins the negotiation. “For that, I will give you one euro at the most. ” ” A Euro ? Lady is smoked salmon, we don’t really talk about it. I’m not going to gaera for nothing.” As if to say: do you think I risk prison for a euro? In fact, yes, because that’s what he asks for a jar of Nutella or a packet of tuna . “I don’t want Nutella”, “Okay, I’ll add the breadsticks but give me one and a half”. It goes on like this: you buy while supplies last, then stop, before the police arrive to shut down Toy Town. “But I don’t know if they are coming today, they already came two days ago, it’s difficult because they also have to find things for them”, continues Irina doubtfully. And instead they also arrive: the origin of the goods is obviously unknown, but obviously the suppliers are not lacking. The two sellers, this time, are foreigners. The first arrives by bike: “Interested? Good price”. “How much?” “Twenty-five that. I also have mountain bikes, but I want 100 is fine”. back, he moves much more cautiously than his colleague in the food department. He lets them glimpse through a slit: “Iphone? Samsung? No charger. Here, however, he is doing poorly: no one seems interested in his products. Patience, we will try again.
The gardens of via Tasso I am a thorn in my side residents and law enforcement. Unlike other green spaces in the city, there is no drug trafficking phenomenon here. There are, however, many clients of drug traffickers who come here to consume undisturbed. Many of them are the same people who make a living from shoplifting and resale gambling. In the evening, then, they try to spend the night inside the small park. The staff of the cooperative in charge of the closing indeed found themselves on several occasions in front of drunks and stragglers who had no intention of going out. Thus, the local police have set up a daily evening service, with a fixed wheel in front of the gardens for an evacuation after 6 p.m.
An incredible concentration of problems for a square of greenery.


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