• France's news in English

France wants to open for more Sunday shopping

AFP · 8 Dec 2014, 09:30

Published: 08 Dec 2014 09:30 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The move to allow for more shops to be open on Sundays is seen as a spur to much-needed consumption in an economy badly in need of a boost.

The government also believes the measure, one of a number due to be signed off by the cabinet on Wednesday before going to parliament early in 2015, would make France more attractive to foreign visitors.

Town halls would be allowed to grant trading licences on 12 Sundays a year, compared to the current five Sundays annually.

In addition, local officials would be obliged to grant five Sundays a year whereas currently they can decide to grant none.

In tourist areas and certain busy stations, the laws would be relaxed still further. Prime Minister Manuel Valls said in a television interview on Sunday that Paris in particular was at risk of seeing visitors go elsewhere to spend unless retail laws were loosened.

"Do we want millions and millions of tourists -- notably Chinese -- who come to the capital to leave us and go and do their shopping in London on a Sunday?" Valls asked.

"I think that for obvious reasons -- economic, competitiveness, job creation -- opening up a certain number of shops, a certain number of tourist zones seems to me to be the right direction," added Valls.

But the measure has run into opposition in France where, unlike in many of its European rivals, the idea of Sunday as a day of rest still attracts considerable support. Valls conceded that "there will be a debate" about the proposal.

Story continues below…

In fact, 30 percent of the workforce in France already works regularly or occasionally on a Sunday.

Opposition to the Sunday opening comes from all points of the political spectrum, as well as from the Catholic and union lobbies.

An opinion poll published on Friday showed that 62 percent of respondents were in favour of shops opening on Sundays, although 60 percent said they would be reluctant to work on that day.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available