Poland’s parliament has voted to slowly begin the process of abolishing Sunday shopping to allow workers to spend more time with their families.
The law has been passed by the sejm — equivalent to the British House of Commons or the U.S. House of Representatives — but must be approved by the Senate and the president, both of which could veto the decision.
Although the major change — which reverses decades of movement on turning Sunday from a holy day of rest into an ordinary day of shopping and work — has been criticised as putting jobs at risk, the government hopes it will improve quality of life for ordinary Poles.
If the law passes, Poland will start by just allowing Sunday shopping on the first and last Sunday of the month in 2018, the . This will be followed by a further reduction in 2019 when it will be permitted only on the last Sunday of the month, followed by a near total ban in 2020. From this point, special allowances will be granted for busy shopping periods — for instance in the run-up to Christmas.
The counter-revolution in how Poland will approach the working week, taking it back to a system that would be more easily recognisable to Poland’s pre-Communist ancestors, comes among a series of other changes by Law and Justice, a nation’s conservative, nationalist, and Christian political party.
Recent government policy, which has emphasised the role of Christianity in daily life and rejected the forced redistribution of migrants and refugees around the Europe by the EU, has brought Poland into conflict with the Brussels establishment, who treat the acceptance of non-European mass migration as a requirement for membership.
The head of Poland’s national security office spoke out against mass migration in the wake of the Islamist attack in Barcelona Islamist in August, : “We are convinced by the latest attacks that there is a natural base for terrorists where a large number of poorly integrated Muslims live … I see a growing number of Muslim refugees and a surge of terrorism.”
This followed similar statements by Prime Minister Beata Szydłoin 2016, when she said: “I see no possibility that refugees will come to Poland.”
The EU has threatened to punish Poland for their refusal to accept migrant quotas but the government has , saying any punishment the EU could give out would be better than opening Poland’s borders.