Parliament ends the ban on Sunday shop opening

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Hungary, Budapest – The Parliament put an end on the ban of most of retail stores to open on Sundays. Two thirds of Hungarian were against this law. Although, applied for one year now, this law made possible the expanding of retail sales by 5,6% in 2015.

On Tuesday, April 12, the Hungarian Parliament voted the end of the law prohibiting bigger shops’ opening on Sundays. Since 2015 March 15, the regulation only allowed trading by shops smaller than 200 square meters, and even then only if they were operated by the owner or one of its close family member. Two third of Hungarian society was opposed to the law, although Fidesz-KDNP ruling coalition suggested in 2015 this law should help small family shops to face the concurrence of multinational hypermarkets. Until this law, shopping hours were not regulated.

Hungarian socialist party, MSZP, initiated a process to ask for a referendum on this law. The ruling Fidesz party, to avoid an additional referendum to its own about migrants quotas which is to be held this autumn, decided eventually to voted the end of the law they passed a bit more than a year ago. From liberal parties (LMP, DK, MSZP) to right wing radical party Jobbik, most of the deputies were against the law, even among Fidesz MPs. The cancellation of the Sunday closing law is welcomed by most of politicians and big companies.

Although, according to hungarytoday.hu, most of the goals set out under the legislation have been met – as retail sales expanded by 5.6% in 2015 and no one in the retail sector was forced to work on Sundays in the past year. Also, the number of employees in small businesses has increased by more than three thousand in the previous year. A local retail workers union complained of a lack of consultation. Finally, it had been also regretted by most of conservative people, as it was a symbol of a way of life related to a civilizational approach, ensuring again Sundays as a rest day.

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