Italians, backed by the Catholic Church, aim to stop Sunday shopping

Published: Thursday, Dec. 27 2012 10:00 a.m. MST

Our take: A law that deregulates store hours in Italy, allowing businesses to operate on Sundays in order to stimulate economic growth, has fueled opposition since its implementation a year ago.

REGGIO EMILIA, ITALY — Italians are fighting a government lift of regulations on business operation hours, insisting that the move will eventually hurt the small shops and values that have long been the foundation of the Italian business community.

The deregulation, put into effect January 2012, removes restrictions on business operating hours, including Sundays and holidays. It is intended to stimulate competition in what has traditionally been a highly regulated market. However, it has been vehemently criticized by many shop owners, and the campaign against it has received a boost from the powerful Catholic Church.

Campaign organizers argue that working on Sunday has forced employees to sacrifice "important values" and benefited big companies at the expense of small businesses.

Read more about Italians, backed by the Catholic Church, aim to stop Sunday shop on The Christian Science Monitor.

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