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ESEE to discuss opening of shops 3-4 Sundays in the year

Δημοσίευση 11 Ιανουαρίου 2011, 12:46 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
ESEE to discuss opening of shops  3-4 Sundays in the year
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The National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce (ESEE) was due to begin discussion on the proposed opening of merchant shops on specific Sundays throughout the year in its first board meeting of 2011.

The National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce (ESEE) was due to begin discussion on the proposed opening of merchant shops on specific Sundays throughout the year in its first board meeting of 2011.

According to reliable sources, the board will discuss allowing shops to open on Sundays 3-4 times a year, and the introduction of sales periods four times a year in conjunction with the Sundays.

ESEE president Vassilis Korkidis, in a statement ahead of the annual winter sales that begin on Saturday, January 15, said that the current market operation framework has become outdated and no longer serves anyone, and therefore needs to be carefully reviewed and redetermined in a way that will serve the present and future needs of the Greek consumers.

On what he called an attempted deregulation of shop hours and the unrestricted operation of shops even on Sundays, "we begin today, in the first meeting of the year, examination of all the proposals we have collected from all over the country, to agree with all the employer and worker organisations, so as to reach decisions that will be our decisions for ourselves, and not others' decisions for us," Korkidis explained.

At a time when the EU was recording constant deterioration of the economic climate in Greece and the Greeks as the most pessimistic Europeans, "the first opportunity of the new year is given to us to improve the psychology and alter the climate on the market, to increase the expectations of the businesses and to restore a smile on the consumers' faces," he said.

The ESEE board meeting comes amidst sharp reactions by merchants in the Cyclades prefecture against a decision by the local prefect giving shops the option of opening up on Sundays and holidays in the first quarter of 2011.

The Merchants' Militant Collaboration movement termed the move a "renewal of the effort that began in past years and in other regions of the country, aimed at fully abolishing the Sunday day-off".

It said that the small-scale merchants and the working people who are at the brink of bankruptcy due to salary and pension reductions, declines in turnover and the spread of departments stores, and from the 'tax attack', have nothing to gain from the opening of shops on Sundays and on holidays, adding that the only concerns to benefit -- at the expense of the thousands of small merchants -- are the department stores, supermarkets and large Greek and foreign chains.