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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-11-04

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Development minister, SYRIZA on opening of stores on Sunday

  • [01] Development minister, SYRIZA on opening of stores on Sunday

    Development Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said, in relation to the opening of stores on the Sunday of the first sales period, that "our cities are changing image today. The consumers embraced both the idea on the new sales 10-day periods and the opening of stores on Sunday. Therefore, we did very well in not listening to those fearing what is new".

    He added that "we are following what is taking place in most European countries. Why should it not take place in Greece as well".

    The main opposition Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) stressed in a statement that "the opening of stores on Sundays constitutes an unacceptable and reactionary decision from every point of view" and accuses the government of "being outside place and time when on the one hand it cuts the incomes of employees and pensioners and on the other hand it increases the days and hours that consumers can buy".

    SYRIZA says that "the only who will gain are the big department stores and the multinational chains that will benefit from the redistribution of the reduced turnover" and calls on the government "to take back this measure now".

    Replying to SYRIZA, Development ministry sources said that "SYRIZA's cassette stuck on the past. It understood nothing even from today's festive climate. Its announcement today proves that in reality it is a force of reaction and misery".

    Gatherings and limited tension took place at the beginning of work hours outside department stores in Athens and in other big cities by members of trade unions as well as employees who are protesting the voluntary opening of stores seven Sundays a year.

    National Confederation of Greek Trade president Vassilis Korkidis, in a statement to the ANA-MPA, said that "many people are taking a stroll in the market today with the commercial stores open, but those who make purchases are few". Korkidis said "from information I have on the voluntary functioning on the first Sunday, the trade movement of stores only increased in downtown Athens and Thessaloniki, Piraeus and Glyfada".

    He added that "generally speaking, however, Sunday's results did not confirm the expectations of shopowners, in contrast to Saturday November 2, when movement increased by about 30 percent compared to Friday, the first day of the 'mini' autumn sales".

    The Federation of Private Employees of Greece has called a strike in the trade sector but stores opened ultimately, while the overall picture in the market so far is that consumers "honoured" stores. The main commercial street in Athens was full, as well as of Piraeus with a considerable number of stores opening and functioning as normal, but those holding bags with purchases were fewer compared to those out for a stroll.


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