Shopowners deplore extensive winter sales

Ten days before the official opening of the winter sales, Athens shopowners on Monday accused the government of dishonoring an agreement to slash by a third the period over which discounts are legally available. The Athens Traders’ Association (ESA) said Friday’s decision by Deputy Minister for Trade Kimon Koulouris to allow sales between January 15-February 29 (instead of throughout February) «undermines the regular functioning of the market… and hurts the interests of consumers.» According to ESA, Koulouris had promised in the summer to cut the sales period to two months a year, instead of three. Shopowners say long sale periods result in many shops offering discounts that effectively last up to six months a year, and are usually only nominal in value. A shorter sales period would have an adverse effect on January’s inflation figures.

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