The Association of Small Shopkeepers (PIMECO) yesterday expressed its “indignation” over central government desire to enforce its Sunday and holiday trading law on the Balearics. PIMECO sources said that the Balearic government is in charge of the region's trading laws and opening hours, claiming that Madrid's hidden agenda is to favour further hypermarket and shopping centre developments as opposed to protecting the interests of the small shopkeeper. Balearic traders can open on five Sundays or holidays this year while on the mainland, the quota is 11. PIMECO claims that it is not economically viable for small shopkeepers to open as many as 11 Sundays a year, although it would benefit shopping centres and superstores. The Association also pointed out that the Minister for the Economy, Rodrigo Rato, who wants the Balearics to fall in line with the rest of the country, has said he wants to liberalise shopping hours, paving the way for 24 hour trading in Spain and also give the green light for the construction of more shopping centres. PIMECO claimed yesterday that the small shopkeeper is vital for the Spanish economy and employment.

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