• France's news in English

Paris mayor vows to sink Sunday opening law

The Local · 8 Sep 2015, 12:59

Published: 08 Sep 2015 12:59 GMT+02:00
Updated: 08 Sep 2015 12:59 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
The left-wing mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo and trade unions are fighting a rearguard action to block the Sunday shopping plans bulldozed through parliament by the economy minister to help the French capital rival London.
Hidalgo has been fiercely against relaxing Sunday trading laws, arguing that closed stores are just one of the many quirks that gives Paris its distinctive identity.
She was furious when Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron pushed his reforms through parliament without letting MPs debate the plan to let stores in tourist areas of Paris open on every Sunday of the year and until midnight during the week.
Hidalgo has written a vitriolic letter to Macron criticized his "fantasy of turning Paris into a city dedicated to consumerism" and "ignorance of the commercial fabric of Paris that pulls in tourists from around the world."
In the published letter, she criticizes the commercial "tourist zones" around that are due to be set up as part of the reform and points out they will kill off some of the 15,000 small independent stores that are already open on Sundays.
"They will destroy the ecosystem that is an international emblem of our city," Hidalgo writes.
Previously shops could only open on a handful of Sundays in the year. The new opening hours are due to begin imminently.
The reform is motivated by the desire by French authorities to take advantage of Paris being the most visited city in the world and to get the tourists spending more of their euros in the capital's stores.
That then would have a positive impact on jobs, Macron argues.
But Hidalgo now plans to dispute the constitutionality of aspects of Macron’s reforms with an appeal to France’s Constitutional Council which claims the minister did not respect procedures when he pushed through the legislation.
The new Sunday opening plans are also coming under fire from trade unions, which have opposed any extension of weekend shopping from the start.
Story continues below…
The major department stores in Paris, such as Printemps and Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann, need the green light from unions if they want to open their doors every Sunday, Europe 1 radio reported on Tuesday. 
But the unions have the right to simply say no and can thus block the plans.
To get them to agree, the stores may have to offer concessions such as double pay for those agreeing to work on Sunday, and incentives like allowances for childcare.
But there is no guarantee that the unions will come on board, so Sunday shopping may not be happening any time soon, Europe 1 said.
Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France sees biggest drop in jobless rate for 20 years
Photo: AFP

Good news at last. But it's unlikely to keep President François Hollande in his job.

Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

Lonely Planet says Bordeaux is world's best city to visit
The fantastic new Bordeaux wine museum. Photo: AFP

After The Local France, the Lonely Planet has followed suit by urging everyone to head to Bordeaux in 2017.

Jungle shacks set ablaze and torn down as camp razed
All photos: AFP

IN PICTURES: The razing of the Jungle has finally begun.

Frenchwoman finds WW1 grenade among her spuds
Photo: AFP

It could have been a very explosive family dinner.

Refugee crisis
What rights to a future in France for Calais migrants?
Photo: AFP

What does the future hold for the migrants of the Jungle? Can they work or claim social benefits or travel freely inside Europe?

Pampers nappies 'contain carcinogenics': French study
Photo: Robert Valencia/Flick

The substances in the nappies are meant to prevent skin irritation but are cancerous, the study concludes.

France to scrap special prison wings for dangerous jihadists
Photo: AFP

The experiment has been ditched.

Myth busting: Half of French adults are now overweight
A model at the Pulp Fiction fashion show in Paris that represents society's diverse spectrum . Photo: AFP

Hold on, aren't the French all meant to be finely toned specimens with not an ounce of fat on them?

France poised to send bulldozers into Calais Jungle
Photo: AFP

As hundreds of migrants leave, the bulldozers are set to tear down the sprawling Calais shanty town on Tuesday.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
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
jobs available