As many as 20,000 people employed in retailing could lose their jobs if the Hungarian parliament approves a bill that would require shopping centers and shops over 400 square meters to stay closed on Sundays, according to the Hungarian Trade Association (OKSZ).
The bill submitted by ruling coalition member Christian Democratic People’s Party (KDNP) would benefit smaller grocery store chains, including CBA whose Hungarian owners are prominent supporters of Fidesz-KDNP.
OKSZ general secretary György Vámos (above) told the Hungarian news service that, while he appreciates there are numerous arguments in favor of such a decision, there are other important considerations as well. He asserted that the majority of Hungarian voters are opposed to Sunday closure and he did not believe most shoppers would opt to go elsewhere if denied access to their store of preference. In other words, the result would be a significant fall-off in sales revenues and VAT receipts.
Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga told reporters he was surprised the suggestion had come up because “one in five people do their shopping on Sunday and it would not be wise to limit this”. Varga said Hungary was not such an affluent country that the most important problem was whether stores should open on Sunday or not. “If employers can agree with their employees, then why shouldn’t they open?” he asked.