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Shops in central Athens and Thessaloniki will open every Sunday

06 June 2014 / 20:06:08  GRReporter
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Shops in central Athens and Thessaloniki and in five other tourist destinations will open every Sunday, as reported by Kathimerini newspaper. In particular, the measure will be piloted for one year in the following regions:

- Attica District: In the historic centre of Athens, which includes Ermou Street and the area around Omonia Square, and in Rafina, due to the port.

- South Aegean District: On Rhodes and Kos Islands, and in the main town of Syros Island, Ermoupoli.

- Central Macedonia: In the historical centre of Thessaloniki, which includes Tzimiskes Street, and in Halkidiki.

No official announcement of the measure has been made so far but sources from the Ministry of Development do not deny that the measure will apply to the specific regions despite the claim that the final negotiations with the supervisory Troika are not their responsibility but of the Ministry of Finance.

The ministerial decision of the relevant department, which will indicate that shops in the specific areas will be able to work on Sundays if they want, will have to be issued no later than 7 July 2014. According to the agreement of the Greek government with the representatives of the creditors, the results of the pilot implementation of the measure will be the basis of a new discussion on the opening of shops on Sundays. New talks will take place in the spring of 2015 that may be followed by the full liberalization of opening hours of shops in Greece.

In its report on the Greek economy, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) had suggested two options. One was the pilot implementation of the measure in certain tourist areas and comparison of customer behaviour and turnover with those in regions where shops are closed on Sundays. The second option was the immediate introduction of Sundays as workdays for shops. The Greek government has preferred the first option.

In addition to defining Sundays as workdays, the regime of seasonal discounts and rebates in commodity prices is about to be liberalized as well. For this purpose, by 7 October 2014, the Minister of Development will have to issue a decision to introduce a Code of Ethics to protect consumers during seasonal discounts, rebates and promotions of goods. The situation of the market will be considered at the end of the year, so that legislation removing all restrictions be adopted by next spring.

Tags: EconomyCompaniesShopsSundayOpening hoursLiberalization
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