Dutch government debates 'koopzondag' regulations
Several political parties want stricter rules for shopping Sundays in order to prevent misuse of the 'tourist area' loophole.The Hague – Rules on koopzondag, the first Sunday of the month when shops are permitted to open, may change as early as 1 January 2010, reports Dutch news agency ANP.
Cities are generally permitted to open shops 12 Sundays per year; however, cities considered 'tourist areas' are allowed to open shops every Sunday.
According to the lower house of parliament, these rules must be adjusted because cities too often misuse the tourist designation.
When the proposed changes will take effect is a point of controversy within the government.
Parties such as ChristenUnie and SGP want the stricter rules to be implemented from 1 January 2010.
Economic Affairs Minister Maria van der Hoeven said the date was not practical because both the lower and upper houses of parliament must review the proposal, according to a report on nu.nl.
Entrepreneurs don't need extra headaches in these economically-troubled times, van der Hoeven told the ANP.
Christian Democrats (CDA) and the Labour Party (PvdA) also want to move the proposal forward, but want a longer transition period to allow cities to adjust to the new rules.
No word was given on what the new regulations might entail.
Jennifer Evans / Expatica