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No Compromises On Sunday Shopping Ban, Government Warns Supermarkets

Tamás Székely 2015.07.10.

The Hungarian government will insist on rules which prevent work on Sundays, the government spokesman told public TV. Zoltán Kovács responded to recent press reports that an outlet of the Hungarian supermarket chain CBA near Lake Balaton had arranged with the local council to be declared a market, allowing opening for business on Sundays.

Rules allow farmers’ markets to be held on Sundays, and the CBA shop set up stalls in its foyer for this purpose, but there was only one farmer selling fruit there, according to the reports. “Any such attempts must be quelled,” Kovács told news channel M1, adding that the case is all the more puzzling as the CBA store in question could have been open legally on Sundays under current regulations, considering its size. The government will stick to its decision on keeping most shops closed on Sunday and will assess experiences in the second half of the year, Kovács said.

Asked about the phenomenon of more and more shops claiming to be markets to get around Sunday opening restrictions, government office chief János Lázár told yesterday at a regular government news conference that “markets are not shops and shops are not markets,” a rule which Hungarian-owned companies must also respect. He said the economy ministry was right to take action in such cases, as the move “is clearly an abuse of the law”. András Giró-Szász, state secretary for government communications, said government offices were looking into the matter.

The Hungarian-owned CBA supermarket chain was also accused recently of lobbying activity made to introduce Sunday opening restrictions in Hungary. The supermarket said in a statement that the those media speculations were “deliberately and malevolently misleading”. However, employing more than 30.000 people and running 4000 stores in ten countries, CBA has become one of the most successful Hungarian company of the last two decades.

via hungarymatters.hu and MTI photo: gombaforum.hu


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