The Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Enterprises (ESEE) is calling for a return to the regulations of the 1990s, with a tight set of rules restricting business hours, the operation of shopping centers and the opening of discount outlets.
The positions ESEE presented to the new general secretary for commerce and consumer protection, Dimitris Avlonitis, not only call for the abolition of all the measures that have opened up the market since 2013, but also the imposition of further interventionist measures that never existed before.
Typical examples include the ESEE demands for the relocation of major shopping malls away from city centers and the application in Athens and Thessaloniki of rules restricting the opening and operation of new major stores (the two cities are currently exempt from such rules).
On the issue of Sunday opening, where ESEE has led efforts to cancel the ministerial decisions that lifted restrictions in court, the confederation is asking that shops across Greece only be allowed to open for only three Sundays per year, down from eight today. It is also proposing a return to the past in terms of sales windows, asking for the abolition of the spring and fall sales, to be replaced by two 10-day periods of special offers.