Monday, September 22, 2003

No Sunday Shopping In Slovenia

Croatian northern neighbour is more relaxed about direct democracy and they held second referendum in a year (following the decision to join NATO and EU). This time referendum was organised by labour unions and its aim was to limit the work of grocery shops to only ten Sundays per year. With some 30 % turnout referendum labour unions won with 60 % of Slovenians voting "yes" and 40 % voting "no". Slovenian Parliament will have to pass adequate legislation in a year.

This decision is going to be huge boost to Catholic Church in Croatia and its initiative to ban grocery shops from working on Sundays. Its impact on Croatia is also going to be more direct – most of supermarket chains in Croatia are owned by Slovenian firms who make enormous amount of business, at the expense of convenience stores – owned by local businessmen. Those Slovenian firms are already announcing major layoffs in Slovenia but some of their resources are going to be transferred to Croatia, where they could expect to compensate some of the losses by Slovenian cross-border weekend shopping.


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