A number of retailers are operating illegally as supermarkets, while authorities are failing to clamp down on the phenomenon, the supermarket association charged during Tuesday’s House commerce committee.

Speaking before MPs, executive secretary of the association Andreas Hadjiadamou said there were a slew of retailers that worked without the necessary building and planning permits.

The makeshift shops operate fully-fledged businesses within a week and despite lacking the necessary paperwork, receive licences for electricity and butchers.

A spokesperson for the urban planning department said the team was understaffed and could not carry out inspections everywhere. As a result, the responsibility has been passed on to local authorities.

For Hadjiadamou, the answer did not suffice slamming out the department’s staff were “inefficient, indifferent, and lacked courage.”

Piling on the problems, the supplier’s association told deputies that companies which supply are required to register with green dot for recycling purposes. They must also have all their ingredients written out in Greek.

Many however fail to do so and inspections rarely take place.

Akel MP Costas Costa said if everything was true, this meant a serious problem for the government. He added it was not possible that a number of stores operate as illegal supermarkets without any permits and even though reports have been filed to the state, no one intervened.