France May Allow Shops to Operate on Sundays

June 24, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. elsewhere /ˈɛlsˌwɛər/ (adv.) – in another or different place
Example: The tourists bought clothes elsewhere because the shops in the city were closed.

2. constitute /ˈkɒnɪˌtut/ (v.) – to compose or form something
Example: Men constitute more than a half of the workers’ population.

3. keep up /kip ʌp/ (phrasal v.) – to perform at the same or close level with another
Example: Some stores offered bigger discounts to keep up with their competitors.

4. shut /ʃʌt/ (v.) – to close something
Example: The shop shuts during weekends.

5. tourist spot /ˈtʊərɪst spɒt/ (n.) – a place that is often visited by many tourists
Example: We want to go to the top tourist spots in the country.


Read the text below.
France’s Foreign Minister proposes that shops should be allowed to operate during Sundays to give tourists more time to shop in the country.

Currently, the country prohibits most establishments from operating on a Sunday, a usual day when there are many customers. This tradition has led some people to think that it could potentially harm France’s tourism and economy as many tourists might shop elsewhere instead.   

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who handles trade and tourism matters, said that tourists should be able to visit shops on Sundays. He added that tourism is an important factor in the country’s economy and that it constitutes seven percent of jobs in the country.

Other politicians also suggest letting employees work on Sundays. Former mayoral candidate Nathalie Morizet [MAWR-iz-it] said that employees want to work on Sundays because they get an additional payment for working on a non-working day. She added that France cannot keep up with neighboring countries in terms of economic growth if many establishments are shut during Sundays.

The French Trade Council president Gerard Atlan expressed the same opinion as Morizet. He emphasized how unfortunate it is to see tour operators leave Paris on Saturday night so tourists can shop on nearby countries on Sunday.

On the other hand, Joseph Thouvenel [TOO-ven-ehl] from the French Confederation of Christian Workers said that France’s rich culture ─ and not shopping stores ─ makes the country a popular tourist spot.

He added that big stores already operate on Sundays in areas with many tourists. For him, allowing all stores to operate on Sundays would have negative effects.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         How do you think the “no work during Sundays” rule helps French citizens?
·         Should France let people work on Sundays? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Would you like to work on non-working days for extra income? Why or why not?
·         How do you think a country can further improve its tourism?

June 24, 2014