Most participants at consultation oppose closure of shops on Sunday


While there have been reports that the Economy Ministry now supports the idea, and the Prime Minister reportedly spoke in favor of the bill today, most participants of Wednesday's round of consultations held at the ministry argued against the planned restrictions on Sunday opening times, business dailies Vilaggazdaság and Napi Gazdaság said on Thursday, quoting general secretary of the National Trade Association György Vámos. 

Consultations are under way concerning the proposal of the Christian Democrats (KDNP), the minor partner in the governing alliance, to keep big stores closed on Sunday. KDNP submitted the relevant bill in November.

Vámos said the ministry held a third round of consultations with the affected parties, adding that two trade unions, the Liga Union and the Union of Trade Workers argued against the planned measure. The opponents of the restrictions said it could lead to lay-offs of 20,000-30,000 workers in the sector. On the other hand, those supporting the proposal – the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and retail chains CBA and Coop – do not believe lay-offs are likely to follow. 

When KDNP submitted the proposal, economy minister Mihály Varga said it would not be wise to limit Sunday shopping when one-fifth of Hungarians do their weekly shopping on Sunday. Shops could keep open if the employers can agree on terms with employees, he said.


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