The Council of State has deemed a ministerial decision dating from 2014 that allowed the optional opening of retail stores on all Sundays of the year in 10 areas of the country to be anti-constitutional. The measure, signed by the then deputy minister for development, Gerasimos Giakoumatos, was supposed to apply on a pilot basis for one year.
Monday’s verdict by the country’s highest administrative court does not affect the provisions of the law from 2013, which allows the operation of all stores for eight Sundays per year and the option for smaller stores that are not owned by chains to open for more Sundays following a decision by the local deputy prefect.
It took the court’s plenary more than two years to reverse the ministerial decision to allow the trial opening of stores on Sundays in the historic centers of Athens and Thessaloniki, the municipality of Rafina and Pikermi in Eastern Attica, and the tourism destinations of Halkidiki, Myconos, Santorini, Rhodes, Kos and Syros.
The CoS verdict refers to the constitutional right of workers and citizens to not work on Sundays, and deems that the settlement of the matter via a ministerial decision instead of a presidential decree contravened the Constitution.