Sunday rest protected by Greek Council of State

2017 01 23 Council of State GreeceIn 2014 the Greek government passed a law allowing shops in three regions to open on Sundays. Trade associations and unions raised a case about its constitutionality and the law has been suspended since then. Now the Council of State has ruled it unconstitutional to open shops on Sundays.

In Greece, Sunday is established as a common day of rest by law since 1909. In 2014 the government approved a pilot project allowing shops and businesses in three tourist areas to open.

However, on 16 January 2017, the bill was declared unconstitutional by the Council of State since the law has not followed the appropriate legislative procedures and it challenged the rights of Greek citizens to free time and rest. The Council also noted that having a common day of rest is good for health and personal life.

Besides promoting health, a common weekly day of rest allows families to spend time together and contributes to family and social cohesion.