Sunday saga still sap­ping stores

Athens shops refuse to open due to fear of ri­ots, while min­is­te­rial de­ci­sion is set to ex­clude key out­lets

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY DIMITRA MANIFAVA

The re­cent reg­u­la­tions on ex­pand­ing Sunday open­ing for stores have turned out to be some­thing of a dead let­ter.

Within the lim­its of the City of Athens, where the Sunday open­ing mea­sure for the sum­mer sea­son was sup­posed to come into ef­fect on May 21, many shops still won’t open due to fear of clashes, while in other ar­eas where a min­is­te­rial de­ci­sion is re­quired sources say that it will ex­clude ma­jor shop­ping hotspots such as the dis­count out­let at Spata and those in the south­ern sub­urbs.

It was al­ready known from the law’s clauses that the Sunday open­ing leg­is­la­tion for the May-Oc­to­ber pe­riod would not in­clude ar­eas such as Maroussi in north­ern Athens, where the city’s main malls are lo­cated, two of the big­gest be­ing The Mall Athens and Golden Hall.

Re­tail com­merce pro­fes­sion­als have com­plained to Kathimerini that groups of pro­test­ers stormed into shops on Er­mou Street and in Omo­nia Square and hurled paint in­side when those stores opened their doors on a Sunday. Those pro­fes­sion­als pre­fer to re­main anony­mous for now, stress­ing they are be­ing black­mailed into keep­ing their shops closed on Sun­days.

Other en­ter­prises have cho­sen not to open after hav­ing been tar­geted by pro­test­ers and strik­ing work­ers in pre­vi­ous years, ef­fec­tively opt­ing to miss out on a day’s busi­ness rather than suf­fer ma­te­rial dam­age and a stain on their en­ter­prise’s pres­tige.

Law 4427 of 2017 al­lows all com­mer­cial stores in cer­tain ar­eas to open on ev­ery Sunday from May to Oc­to­ber with the ex­cep­tion of the sec­ond Sunday of Au­gust. While for Athens the mea­sures has ap­plied since the law was pub­lished on May 19, in the other ar­eas the Econ­omy and De­vel­op­ment 1.1329 Min­istry has un­til to­mor­row to is­sue a de­ci­sion, this be­ing one of the prior ac­tions re­quired by the Euro­pean Sta­bil­ity Mech­a­nism for the dis­burse­ment of the bailout sub­tranche of 7.7 bil­lion eu­ros.

Yes­ter­day a draft of that de­ci­sion leaked, pro­vid­ing for the op­er­a­tion of the so-called Open Mall in Pi­raeus and the com­mer­cial park at Athens Air­port, while ex­clud­ing the McArthurGlen Athens out­let and its ad­ja­cent Smart Park at Spata.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.