More than 85 pct of shops remained closed on Sunday, ESEE says

More than 85 pct of shops remained closed on Sunday, ESEE says

More than 85 percent of shops across Greece remained closed on Sunday, said the National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE) which opposes reforms demanded by the country’s international creditors.

In comments made Monday, ESEE president Vassilis Korkidis said that the majority of business owners had heeded the confederation’s call to boycott the measure, adding that protest action prevented the operation of several retail chains.

“However, the most deafening response came from the absence of consumers who turned their back on those who deliberately announced that shops would be open on Sunday across Greece,” Korkidis said.

In the Greek capital, hundreds of people protested against plans to increase Sunday trading hours in a rally held by the Communist Party-affiliated union PAME and groups representing small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).

Extending Sunday trading is one of a list of demands by Greece’s lenders, and must be approved by Parliament by mid-May. Shops are currently compelled to open on the first Sunday of every month. The reform would raise the number of Sundays from 12 times a year to 30.

Unions have called a 24-hour general strike on May 17.

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