Seoul, South Korea, To Ban All Newsstands

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By: E&P Staff

Seoul intends to banish newsstand from the streets of the Korean capital by the end of 2009.

Korea Times reported on its Web site that the Seoul city government announced sweeping new regulations on commercial installations on streets and walkways that will ultimately get rid of newsstands, kiosks, sidewalk shoe-repair shops, and similar stands.

If approved by the city council, the measures would go into effect by mid-November.

Newsstand owners whose properties is valued at more than 100 million won, or about $110,000, would be unable to obtain a new newsstand license or renew their existing one.

“Those in absolute poverty will be given a temporary two-year license, but will be required to discontinue their roadside businesses by the end of 2009,” the Korea Times reported in the unbylined article.

According to Seoul government statistics, of the 3,236 kiosk owners in the city, 28 had more than 600 million won worth or property, and just 736, or 22%, were in financial distress.

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