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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-12-24

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Shops not to open on 28 Dec. after all
  • [02] Greek stocks end flat on Christmas Eve
  • [03] Trade deficit down 4.1% in Jan-Oct

  • [01] Shops not to open on 28 Dec. after all

    Shops in Athens, Piraeus and Thessaloniki will not be allowed to open this coming Sunday - the last Sunday of the year - after local authorities refused their permission on Wednesday, in spite of traders having earlier received a green light from the development ministry.

    In an emergency Christmas Eve session, the Athens Prefecture Council turned down a request by the Athens Traders' Association after opposition was voiced by shop employee unions. Only councillors within the faction backed by ruling New Democracy voted in favour of allowing shops to open, while the prefecture's leadership was against the measure.

    This means that any shop owner that decides to stay open on Sunday will be subject to the penalties foreseen under the law.

    A similar decision was reached in Piraeus, where the local merchants' association said that an attempt was being made to abolish the Sunday holiday under the guise of supporting store owners in central Athens and Piraeus who suffered damages during recent rioting and demonstrations.

    Thessaloniki prefecture followed suit later on Wednesday, issuing an announcement saying that shops would not be allowed to open in spite of the best efforts of the prefecture's leadership, due to the strong reactions against the measure.

    "It was the Prefecture's desire to allow traders and shop owners in Thessaloniki the right to open their stops on the last Sunday of the year as an exception, in accordance with the announcements of the prime minister and Development Minister Christos Folias," the announcement said.

    This had been prevented because there was a lack of agreement on the part of those involved, it added.

    The development ministry on Tuesday gave the "green light" to retail stores to remain open in the last Sunday of 2008, accepting a request by Athens merchants' association and the relevant chamber of commerce. The decision has a relatively important impact for the Greek retail market, since it is quite common based on local traditions to exchange of gifts at New Year, rather than Christmas Day.

    A ministry announcement said the measure will be valid only for this year and noted that employees opting to work on Sunday, Dec. 28, would be paid an additional 75 pct on their wages, while they would also enjoy an extra day off in January.

    [02] Greek stocks end flat on Christmas Eve

    [03] Trade deficit down 4.1% in Jan-Oct

    Greece's trade deficit fell by 4.1 percent in the 10-month period from January to October 2008 compared with the corresponding period last year, the National Statistics Service announced on Wednesday.

    The statistical service attributed the decline in the trade deficit to an 1.8-percent drop in imports and a 3.2-pct rise in exports. The trade deficit dropped 13.9 pct in October from the same month last year to 3.032 billion euros, reflecting a 6.7-pct drop in imports and a 9.9-pct rise in exports.

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