The local government is preparing a plan which will allow department stores to open nine Sundays a year. The plan is almost certain to draw fire from small shopkeepers but will be welcomed by the major stores. The Vice President of the Balearic Government Pere Sampol said that he would be holding talks with representatives of the various associations over the next few days. “I hope that they give their support to this plan,” he said yesterday. Under new government legislation shops which occupy an area of less than 300 metres can open whenever they like. This new ruling is meant to give shopkeepers an edge over the department stores but it has already caused a wave of protest with unions representing thousands of shopkeepers threatening strike action. The nine Sundays are; January 28, February 25, March 25, April 22, May 20, June 24, September 23, October 21, and November 25. Many small shops are finding it extremely difficult to survive with the large stores severely reducing their profit margins. Business leaders have urged small traders to take advantage of the new legislation.

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