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Main Greek Court Says Shops to Stay Closed on Sundays

Photo © Maria TheofanopoulouGreece’s Council of State has ruled against a 2014 decision by the serving development minister to allow the optional operation of shops across Attica and elsewhere on random Sundays throughout the year.

The court found the decision to be unconstitutional and a violation of the workers’ right to respite.

Action was taken against the 2014 ministerial decision by the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (ESEE), representing the country’s SMEs, the Greek Federation of Private Employees as well as craftsmen, merchants and shopkeepers.

Parties in favor of the decision included the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV), the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), the Greek Competition Committee and the Hellenic Retail Business Association (HRBA).

The Council of State, which is Greece’s highest court, said its judgement was based on the constitutional right of all working individuals to a regular break in the working week.

“The Council of State decision for the operation of shops on Sundays has done justice to the positions of ESEE, standing in favor of small- and medium-sized businesses,’’ ESEE President Vassilis Korkidis said.

According to reports, the ruling will not affect shops and commerce in tourist areas.

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