Hungary moving to lift disputed Sunday shopping ban

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary's government says it has proposed that parliament repeal a year-old, very unpopular law banning most retail stores from opening on Sundays.

The move would avoid a referendum on the issue initiated by the opposition Socialist Party, which could have been held later this year.

Antal Rogan, Prime Minister Viktor Orban's Cabinet Minister, said Monday that the government also wants to avoid distracting voters from its own plans for a referendum seeking support for Hungary's rejection of the European Union's scheme of resettlement quotas for refugees.

Rogan said parliament could repeal the ban Tuesday, allowing stores to open as soon as next Sunday.

Rogan said the year-old ban had achieved the government's economic objectives, including shifting some sales from multinational chains to smaller stores, but acknowledged its unpopularity with voters.