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Market situation becomes difficult

11/12/2015 11:32
The situation in the market is becoming more difficult after regulations on shop opening hours got rejected, as the government warns about consequences in the labor market.

Labor minister Zeta Emilianidou supports and points out to the legislature that voting against the regulations will increase unemployment and public support recipients.

She notes that by voting against the regulations, the 2006 law comes back into force from the beginning of January 2016, which provides that all general stores, regardless of winter or summer, will be closed on Sundays, while opening hours will be up to 15:00 on Wednesdays.

At the same time the association of retail trade does not exclude the possibility to invite its members to continue operating their shops on Sundays even after the special operation hours which apply over the Christmas period.

The general director of the association Marios Antoniou said that the situation is being assessed with an intention to taking measures, while stating that there is no intention for affected entrepreneurs to proceed to layoffs.

He explained that the reintroduction of the law of 2006 will significantly reduce the earnings of staff which largely comes from overtime on Wednesdays and Sundays and on bank holidays.

POVEK welcomed the rejection of regulations and congratulated political parties that did not approve the regulations “for their consistency”.

POVEK proposed that after Christmas and when the law of 2006 comes bank into force, a new dialogue is held with all parties to find a consensual solution.

The labor minister, who spoke on national radio this morning, defended the regulations of the ministry stressing that "they are in the public interest."

She noted that the decision of the Supreme Court fully sets out the responsibilities of authorities. There are issues that refer to the executive authority and issues that are the responsibility of the legislature, she said.

"Setting shops’ operating hours is the responsibility of the executive authority," Mrs. Emilianidou stressed.

"Based on this data, the government has published regulations as the Parliament had abolished the right to issue decrees. Regulations are issued by the Cabinet and approved, according to the Attorney General, by the parliament".

With respect, she added, "to the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Cyprus, the government implements the laws that are in force."

"Currently, the law of 2006 is in effect. And since the parliament voted against the regulations, they cannot be enforced. The government respects the Constitution and the laws of the Republic" Mrs. Aimilianidou indicated.

She also noted that she is in consultation with the Attorney General Costas Clerides as this is also a legal issue, as she said, "not only at the level of the executive authority, but also at a personal level for each individual or affected entrepreneur."

She stressed that "it is important to determine which way the executive authority, based on the decision of the Supreme Court, can exercise its responsibility, that is its own responsibility how shops operate".

She was fully against the compromise supported by the parliament under which shops will be open on Sundays for six months and closed for another six months.

"I had asked the members of the parliament. What will be the future of workers at general stores during these six months when shops will be closed? My view is that they will become recipients of unemployment allowance and guaranteed minimum income".

"These are not solutions, nor a compromise settlement for such a matter. If this is what we seek I personally disagree" said the minister.