The coalition government’s decision to carry on with the pilot implementation of stores operating on all Sundays has caused fierce reactions within the coalition. Indicative of the furor caused by the controversial move is PASOK MP Michalis Kassis, who spoke of “subservience” to the troika “that must end” and wondered “what interests are being served” by having stores operate on all Sundays.
Dimitris Stratoulis from SYRIZA claimed that measure will expand to rest of the country in order to abolish the Sunday holiday “to benefit the big stores and multinational chains” and added that the measure would have a profound effect on small businesses that are struggling, thus increasing unemployment.
The president of the national confederation of Greek commerce (ESEE) Vasilis Korkidis told Vima 99.5 FM that “they are mocking us” and resigned from his post at New Democracy’s political committee. Mr. Korkidis stressed that businesses wanted to increase opening hours in the summer and spoke of “certain obsessive business interests” and claimed that the goal is to benefit “4-5 or 10 huge businesses, which may have made some serious investments, but will force most small and medium-sized to shut down”.
The Deputy Minister of Growth Gerasimos Giakoumatos criticized Mr. Korkidis for his resignation, stating that he was aware of the government’s intentions. Mr. Giakoumatos was quick to add that he did not make the controversial decision and that he is merely implementing the law that was passed in April. He also argued that the measure will be revised in March 2015.