News of: Wednesday, February 17 2010,
The Amsterdam city council has decided that all shops in Amsterdam are allowed to open on Sundays.
By national law, the rule is that shops can open on Sundays if they are situated in a tourist area.
Shops in the centre of Amsterdam have consequently been open on Sunday for a number of years. With great success: every Sunday the centre of Amsterdam is inundated by shoppers from all over Amsterdam and outside Amsterdam.
The central government, in The Hague, wants to further limit the possibilities of Sunday opening, under the influence of the Christian Union, one of the political parties in the current coalition government.
Amsterdam has, however, moved the power to decide on Sunday opening from the neighbourhood councils to the central city government. Consequently, the city can now decide that Amsterdam as a whole is a tourist area.
The city says that christian doctrine should no longer determine these things, and the Sunday opening is good for the economy.
A group of small business owners have announced they will take the city to court about it. They say they do not have the staff to open on Sundays, and fear they lose the competition from large shops and retail chains.