A Croatian court has annulled a ban on Sunday shopping imposed six months ago after retailers hit by the global economic crisis launched a legal challenge against the move, a report said.
In an unanimous decision, the Constitutional Court overturned several articles of the Trade Act prohibiting Sunday retail trade, whose introduction has coincided with plunging sales.
On Friday, the judges ruled this was “a violation of constitutional freedoms” for retailers and their “equality” because of a significant number of exceptions, according to a report on national television. They said “the law did not protect employees, whereas this was its main objective.”
The law, which came into force in January after years of lobbying by Croatia’s influential Roman Catholic Church, prohibited businesses to work Sunday, except during tourist seasons in summer and December.
The judges’ decision came as official statistics revealed retail turnover declined 14.5% in April compared with the same month in 2008, blamed on the ban and the global economic crisis.
In the first four months of 2009, around 1,150 small businesses were closed in the Adriatic country because of falling sales, while nearly 2,900 workers lost their jobs, according to national television.