Although the majority of the city council is strongly opposed, 23 stores in Elburg will be open on Whit Monday.
“We want to make a statement towards local politics,” says Joop Zwart at Omroep Gelderland. He has a clothing store and is a board member of the Winkel Vesting Elburg. “We can’t make it without a temporary shopping Sunday, so several shops will fall over.”
Elburg is an old fortified town on the Veluwe, on the banks of the Veluwemeer. It is a tourist attraction, but also a place where the majority of the population is very religious. ChristenUnie, Algemeen Belang and SGP together with the CDA have a majority in the city council.
ChristenUnie group chairman Han Dickhof does not feel like a shopping Sunday on Whit Sunday. “We have taken a clear position in our election program. We have been elected for it, and I see no reason to diverge from our position at the moment,” he said this week.
Looking the other way
“I understand that, because of some of their supporters,” says Black. “I am also a Christian. I have always said that I will not open my shop on Sunday, even though I am in favor of freedom of choice. But this year is special, and I would also like to open my shop on Sunday during this time of crisis. Therefore it is now time for civil disobedience. “
Not all stores will be open on Whit Monday. “But the entrepreneurs who stay closed show solidarity with us,” says Zwart. He thinks that the municipality, which discusses the issue on Monday evening, should look the other way on May 31 and not send enforcers to fine retailers. Incidentally, shopping Sunday does not start until 1 p.m., well after the last church service has ended.
Responsible councilor Arjan Klein was not available for comment.