Budapest, January 13 (MTI) – Tesco’s troubles are Europe-wide and not limited to Hungary, Economy Minister Mihaly Varga told a press conference on Tuesday, denying the British supermarket chain’s decision to close several shops in the country was connected to the government’s policies.
Tesco laying off more than 500 workers in Hungary
Tesco announced the closure of 13 shops on Monday, saying its decision would ensure further profitability of its operations. Recently approved legislation taking effect on March 15 bans retailers that are unprofitable in two consecutive years from doing business.
Varga said it was “embarrassing” when a company tried to pass the blame for its own mismanagement onto others.
He noted that the retail sector had grown by 5-10 percent every month last year, so market conditions in Hungary did not justify Tesco’s move, he added.
He noted that there are 2,000 vacant positions in the sector and the 500 people to be laid off by Tesco in April were sure to find new jobs.
Varga also said that not even the trade unions envisaged any mass lay-offs in the retail sector.