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Sunday trading to be legalised in Paris tourist areas

Laurent Fabius, ministre des Affaires étrangères, a rencontré les patrons français ce mardi 8 avril pour présenter ses nouveaux projets en matière de diplomatie économique.
Laurent Fabius, ministre des Affaires étrangères, a rencontré les patrons français ce mardi 8 avril pour présenter ses nouveaux projets en matière de diplomatie économique. Reuters/Benoit Tessier

If you are thinking of visiting Paris, you should be able to do your shopping on Sunday as from the end of this year. France's Socialist government is to permit Sunday trading in the French capital and perhaps elsewhere in France.

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The minister in charge of relations with parliament, Jean-Marie Le Guen said Wednesday that the government is drawing up measures to authorise stores to open on Sunday, at least in Paris.

On Tuesday Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius also weighed in on a debate that has pitched unions against employers and some workers over the restrictions on Sunday trading.

Tourism is a key sector in France, he argued, with considerable room for growth.

The foreign affairs minister is also in charge of tourism.

Le Guen used the same argument in a TV interview.

"When you have such a large influx of tourists, you should make the most of the wealth it brings," he said. "The Paris area creates 35 per cent of the country’s wealth, it is a way into  globalisation.”

Both said the measure would concern only shops in tourist zones as they want to respect the Sunday break, a key part of French culture.

The law will ensure employees are paid extra for working Sunday.

Seven per cent of the French workforce is employed in tourism.

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