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Christian Democrats To Restrict Sunday Shopping

Tamás Székely 2014.11.07.

The Economy Ministry told yesterday that the government had discussed a proposal to restrict shop openings on Sundays but had not made a decision. A decision on the proposal made by Christian Democrats (KDNP), the minor partner in the governing alliance, will be made only after consultations with the trade unions and companies operating the shops, the ministry said.

Péter Harrach told earlier a press conference that the Christian Democrats would submit a bill on the introduction of free Sundays later today. Accordingly, shops occupying less than 400 square metres and family businesses would be exempt from the restrictions planned to come into force on 15th of March 2015. Asked about economy minister Mihály Varga’s opposition to the idea, Harrach said, “his opinion is just one opinion” but the government had backed their motion.

Mihály Varga warned earlier this week that it would be unwise to restrict Sunday shopping when a fifth of Hungarians do their weekly shopping precisely on that day. Varga added that there was no reason not to keep the shops open if employers can agree on terms with employees, he said. The Hungarian Association of Shopping Centres (MBSZ) also told earlier that the proposal would have serious consequences.The leader of the Commercial Employee’s Trade Union, however, welcomed the bill. In view of the labour shortage hitting the sector, the restrictions would not bring about layoffs of retail workers, he said.

via photo: Europark mall in Budapest (