Tradesmen accept Sunday opening for Athens center

The National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE) appears to have softened its stance regarding Sunday opening hours for retail stores, saying it is now in favor of shops being able to open every Sunday provided they are in holiday resort areas.

Following the departure of Democratic Left from the coalition government, which increases the likelihood of a compromise solution being reached with the Development Ministry due to the resulting reduction in resistance to such measures, ESEE is now proposing that summer and winter resorts, port zones and even the historical center of Athens be included in a regulation that would allow stores to open seven days a week. It further asks for extended opening hours on weekdays.

The proposal was sent on Tuesday in letters to Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, in which ESEE effectively asks that the regulation only apply in areas that are popular with tourists.

The confederation expressly requested that the measure should not be applied in the case of supermarkets, department stores and shopping malls.