Hellenic Council of State (Simvoulio tis Epikratias)
Judgment no. 100/2017, in Plenum
Assistant Judge, Greek Council of State
The determination of Sunday as a public holiday is a display of the constitutional protection of the right to leisure and to its enjoyment for all workers and employees as a regular break from weekly employment. When enacting exceptions to that rule, the legislator must take into account specific criteria and conditions, that do not harm the core of the above right, and ensure that the exceptions are related to the public interest, namely to serving the basic needs of citizens, the satisfaction of which cannot be suspended on Sundays and public holidays. As far as tourism is concerned, the exception from the Sunday rule is permitted under specific conditions that fulfill the requirements of the principle of proportionality. The authorization of Law 4254/2014, according to which the Minister of Development may determine three tourist areas, where the opening of stores is permitted on all Sundays of the year, is unconstitutional based on the above, as well as due to its lack of specificity.