PARIS — French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday the government would move quickly to implement the law that carries his name, after the Constitutional Council approved the key measures in the wide-ranging economic reform program, including a loosening of the rules governing Sunday store opening.
Faced with opposition within its own camp, the government of Socialist President François Hollande had several times forced the flagship measure through parliament by decree. The vote by the Constitutional Council represented the last hurdle before it comes into effect.
“This decision validates the considerable work done by the government and parliament over the last few months to lift the hurdles that hamper our economy and open up the sectors that deserve to be, in order to reinforce the economic recovery and foster employment,” Macron said in a statement.
“I plan to pursue the mobilization efforts not only of government services, but also of all stakeholders, to ensure the law becomes reality in a rapid and efficient manner for our fellow citizens,” he added.
In its final, amended version, the Macron law allows stores in so-called international tourist zones to remain open on Sundays, and gives mayors elsewhere leeway to authorize up to 12 Sunday openings per year in their cities, up from five previously.
Some mayors have already indicated they will grant little or no authorizations in their towns, citing workers’ right to a day of rest, among other reasons.
Macron said the law concerning Sunday opening hours in international tourist zones would come into effect by the end of September, and it would be implemented in train stations by the end of October.
Some retailers said the law would have little immediate impact, since some mayors will not budge on the issue. In addition, large firms such as department stores will have to obtain the green light from unions before they can extend Sunday openings in practice, a process that could drag on for months.