NICOSIA – A decision on whether the extended shopping hour regime will continue will be taken before October 13 when the current decree expires, Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou said on Sunday.
She said that longer shopping hours – including Sunday shopping – had led to an additional 1461 being employed, either full or part time.
“The decree expires on October 13. We have evaluated all the facts, we see a positive impact. Certainly before October 13 we will decide whether to extend it or not,” she said.
Asked about complaints from the small shop keepers association Povek that the new regime only helps big business, she said that it was true small companies faced a massive problem, which however has existed for years.
She said small companies had to be helped as they formed the backbone of the Cyprus economy, adding that consumers have welcomed the extended shopping hours.
“I don’t think it is the reason for the closure of small shops,” she said.
Asked about the rise in unemployment, the minister said the rate of increase was much smaller than before, giving cause to optimism that it will not go much higher.