War of words in Cyprus over extended and Sunday working hours

Should the Cypriot government look into permanently extending opening hours for retailers as part of its plans to revive the sluggish economy? The issue has caused a war of words between one of the island’s leading retailers and the General Confederation of Cyprus’s small shop owners (POVEK).

In a written statement Nicos Shacolas (photo) said that extended opening hours and Sunday openings have been warmly welcomed by Cypriot consumers and have helped create employment, inject money into the banking system and state coffers.

He called on the government to renew its July 9 decision on temporary opening hours’ extension, which expires in mid-October. Shacolas argued that the decree should be tested for a whole year, through all seasons, allowing employers to adjust to the new reality and hire more permanent staff.

The Secretary-General of POVEK Stephanos Koursaris hit back at Shacolas’s comments, saying the claim that all shop owners have benefited from the temporary measure is not just baseless, but a “fat lie”.

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(Photo of Kyrenia: Senan Sagsan/sxc.hu)