The recent regulations on expanding Sunday opening for stores have turned out to be something of a dead letter.
Within the limits of the City of Athens, where the Sunday opening measure for the summer season was supposed to come into effect on May 21, many shops still won’t open due to fear of clashes, while in other areas where a ministerial decision is required sources say that it will exclude major shopping hotspots such as the discount outlet at Spata and those in the southern suburbs.
It was already known from the law’s clauses that the Sunday opening legislation for the May-October period would not include areas such as Maroussi in northern Athens, where the city’s main malls are located, two of the biggest being The Mall Athens and Golden Hall.
Retail commerce professionals have complained to Kathimerini that groups of protesters stormed into shops on Ermou Street and in Omonia Square and hurled paint inside when those stores opened their doors on a Sunday. Those professionals prefer to remain anonymous for now, stressing they are being blackmailed into keeping their shops closed on Sundays.
Other enterprises have chosen not to open after having been targeted by protesters and striking workers in previous years, effectively opting to miss out on a day’s business rather than suffer material damage and a stain on their enterprise’s prestige.
Law 4427 of 2017 allows all commercial stores in certain areas to open on every Sunday from May to October with the exception of the second Sunday of August. While for Athens the measures has applied since the law was published on May 19, in the other areas the Economy and Development Ministry has until tomorrow to issue a decision, this being one of the prior actions required by the European Stability Mechanism for the disbursement of the bailout subtranche of 7.7 billion euros.
On Wednesday a draft of that decision leaked, providing for the operation of the so-called Open Mall in Piraeus and the commercial park at Athens Airport, while excluding the McArthurGlen Athens outlet and its adjacent Smart Park at Spata.