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Anastasiades called on to shorten shop hours

Officials from the small shopkeepers union POVEK met with President Anastasiades at the palace yesterday

Various groups and associations on Tuesday asked President Nicos Anastasiades to get rid of decrees that extend shop hours, which they claimed has ruined many businesses.

The head of the small business association POVEK, said they demanded reverting to the provisions of the 2006 legislation.

Stefanos Koursaris reiterated that the majority of small and medium businesses were suffering as a result of the decision to extend shop hours, which only served a dozen big stores and supermarket chains.

“Sunday in particular, is a tombstone for small and medium businesses,” Koursaris said.

They, Koursaris said, expected the problem resolved in September.

“If not, we have no other way than to use all legitimate means to keep our businesses alive,” Koursaris said.

The organisation has been fighting against the new shop hours since their introduction in July 2013.

The decree extending shop hours was issued by the government in a bid to boost businesses and cut unemployment.

It allows retailers to stay open for longer, including Wednesday afternoons and Sundays, covering part of the increased need for workers by giving jobs to the unemployed.

Employers argue that due to their extended work hours turnover has increased and a few thousand unemployed individuals have found work, even on part-time basis.

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