In favour of introducing the Sunday trade ban were especially trade unions, which cared to ensure a day off for the employees, and catholic groups, for which Sunday as a holy day should be a day off. This proposition caused objection from liberals and businessmen, and because of it a compromise has been decided on – many entities got exempt from the bill, such as florist’s and baker’s; a transitional period has also been introduced, during which the ban will be in force not for all the Sundays, but only some of them.
The accepted solution didn’t alleviate the conflict, though. Especially the long list of exceptions was met with a clear objection. As it turns out, it allows to leave the business open, as long as it meets certain conditions – and so in shops that did not have breadstuff baked in the shop, ovens appeared, which is to make them “baker’s”, and in those which cannot afford that – tables and chairs, which is to make them “cafes” instead of shops.
Petrol stations also plan to benefit from the ban, by expanding their assortment.
The Opposition’s Critique
Platforma and Nowoczesna accuse the project of causing up to 100 thousand redundancies, mainly of students who earn during weekends, lowering the shops’ income by as much as 15%, but first of all – of being a restraint of freedom, an attempt to impose on Poles how to spend their time. “PiS wants to control Poles’ life on every step of the way. They are to sit at home and watch TVPiS [a play of words joining the name of the public broadcaster – TVP – and the name of the party]”, Platforma suggests, by the by attacking the public broadcaster for bias.
In the whole country, the opposition’s representatives organised press conferences today in front of supermarkets and city centres. Rober Tyszkiewicz, PO’s MP, faulted the government in crass words saying that, “the PiS authoritarian country has started to interefere with normal people’s lives”, and another PO’s MP, Maria Janyska, speaking in similar terms stated that “the country in which the officials decide about the people’s lives, is a PRL (communistic) system”.
Whereas the leader of Nowoczesna is reminding that her party proposed a compromise, which instead of closing down institutions would ensure two Sundays off a month for each employee.
Project of changes
As members of Platforma promised today, a project, which “will give back people normalcy and opportunity to choose”, will be put forward during the next Sejm session, and in a nutshell – it will withhold the trade ban.