All shops in Cyprus will remain closed on the 1 May bank holiday, which this year falls on the same day as Greek Orthodox Easter Saturday, annoying the retail sector.
Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou appears adamant about keeping 1 May a holiday for all shops despite supermarkets and butchers demanding they open for the rush ahead of Easter Sunday, when Cypriots traditionally consume a lot of meat.
Reportedly, Emilianidou had rejected a request to keep shops open on Easter Saturday, put forward by the Federation of Employers and Industrialists and the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce.
She confirmed her stance when butchers had also sent in a written request to keep supermarkets and butcher shops open.
The issue may not be over as businesses are expected to turn up the heat to convince authorities to keep stores open on 1 May.
The issue will be taken up by the Cyprus Supermarket Association next Wednesday.
Speaking to news outlet Philenews, the executive secretary of the association, Andreas Hatziadamou, said that supermarkets could suggest opening shops in return for the holiday to be transferred to another day.
“We will be evaluating whether we can request the 1 May holiday can be transferred as Holy Saturday is traditionally a day with increased traffic in the retail trade,” argued Hatziadamou.
Under the law, 1 May is a public holiday that retail stores must observe, except kiosks and bakeries.