ATHENS – The Greek government is scrapping the twice annual sales periods to let retail stores set the prices they want any time they want, to resistance from the PASOK Socialists who are in the coalition administration.
Retail stores will be able to have special offers on merchandise on any day of the year, even throughout the year and on the day before the start of sales seasons, without having to announce them to the Development Ministry and the local tradesmen’s association, according to a ministerial decision that came into effect on Nov. 12.
The decision was opposed by some traders and consumer groups while PASOK called it a “cheap trick.” They are partners in the government led by Prime Minister and New Democracy Conservative leader Antonis Samaras.
The decision by Deputy Development Minister Gerasimos Giakoumatos also sets specific criteria for the determination of a store as a stock outlet.
It will have to sell stock from previous seasons or lines, and will be allowed to sell used or faulty goods provided this is clearly indicated. Items that are stock from previous seasons will have to be clearly marked, too, with a note next to the product’s price.
The government had been under pressure from its international lenders to allow stores to be more competitive, including more Sunday openings.