Nicolas Sarkozy wants to ax a 1906 law that shutters most retail outlets on Sundays, Bloomberg reports. The move would modernize the country, the maverick president says, energizing an economy that has dragged behind that of other EU countries. "Previous governments, left and right, always dodged the issue," says a retail exec. "This government has more political will."
Though unions warn that staff would be at risk of exploitation and critics blast what they call "excessive consumerism," 75% of Parisians polled support the move. But smaller stores may not be able to afford the extra staff they'd need to compete. "Paris will become ugly and sad," says one merchant. "You will see only Gaps and Zaras."