Parliament votes to revoke Sunday closings law

Government

The Hungarian Parliament today approved legislation putting an end to a year-old law that required retailers to stay closed on Sundays, according to Hungarian news agency MTI. The legislation was approved in an expedited procedure after the government proposed it yesterday. According to reports, the law will still remain in effect for this Sunday.

Imre Vejkey, a Christian Democrat MP, during todayʼs debate in Parliament over the decision to revoke the Sunday Closings law that his party proposed and passed in late 2014. (Photo: MTI/Attila Kovács)

Depending on how quickly President János Áder signs the legislation, stores could possibly open Sunday after next, on April 24.

The government said it decided to revoke the unpopular law because the populace has never been convinced of the benefits of the measure, MTI reported.

The government also said it chose to undo the law rather than endure efforts by the opposition Socialist party to hold a referendum against Sunday closings, according to MTI. The government said that a referendum on the Brussels’ refugee quota is more pressing and needs unified action, and they were concerned that a referendum on Sunday closings would be a distraction, MTI added.

The law was passed in late 2014, under the sponsorship of the Christian Democrat party and went into effect on March 15, 2015. It was highly criticized by trade unions, retailers and others, such as owners or managers of retail real estate.

The vote to revoke the law was passed in Parliament today with 163 in favor, two opposing and 11 abstentions, according to reports.

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