Cyprus Mail

More fines on shops for Wednesday opening

Retailers have received yet more fines for defying a parliamentary decision requiring them to remain closed on Sundays and Wednesday afternoons.

The number of those booked by police was not immediately available but the fines are ongoing.

The 2006 law, in force since January 2, meant for the past two weeks, shops were booked on Sundays for remaining open.

This was the first Wednesday of the year retailers opened their doors as last week was a public holiday.

This law allows bakeries and kiosks to open on Wednesday afternoons and Sundays, but the rest should remain closed or be threatened with a fine.

However, the law has been defied by most retailers, which continued to open on Wednesdays and Sundays, despite the sanctions they face which are up to one year in prison or a fine of up to €17,000, or both.

The debacle between the state and parliament stems from a Supreme Court decision on December 3 saying parliament law regulating shop hours is unconstitutional, arguing that the regulation of the policy is solely the government’s power.

Nevertheless the matter went to parliament a week later and after a majority rejection, the decision meant a 2006 law regulating shop hours returned into force as of January 2.

The case was taken by Attorney-general Costas Clerides to Supreme Court which is expected to issue its ruling next month.

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