Shopping centres are assessing the possibilities to request compensation for losses caused by restrictions that do not comply with the Satversme

The Constitutional Court, evaluating the applications of several shopping centres, has acknowledged that the regulation which established restrictions on the operation of large shopping centres within the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic does not comply with the basic law of the state. The regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers violated the fundamental rights of entrepreneurs, preventing some points of sale from operating and causing significant losses. In total, shopping centres have lost at least 65 million euros during the restrictions, of which less than 20 million euros have been compensated, and according to entrepreneurs, the government has a duty to fully compensate the losses.
In the application, the Constitutional Court was asked to verify the compliance of the regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers “Epidemiological Safety Measures for the Containment of the Spread of COVID-19 Infection” with the basic law of the state. The regulations provided for operating restrictions for those shopping centres in Latvia with an area of more than 7,000 m2, where only merchants of certain product groups were allowed to operate, while at the same time any points of sale below the specified area operated freely, ensuring safe retail areas. Shopping centres have repeatedly pointed out that this has created an unequal, distortive and discriminatory situation in the sector, depriving businesses of their fundamental right to property and violating guaranteed rights towards principle of equality before the law or equal regulation of the law.
“Shopping centres appreciate that the Constitutional Court has acknowledged that a situation in which, for example, a shoe store may operate outside a shopping centre, but not in a shopping centre, may not be in conformity with the Satversme. In reality, this had led to a situation where 75% of shops in shopping centres were not allowed to work. This situation caused at least 65 million euros in losses to shopping centres, of which less than 20 million euros were compensated. In our opinion, the government is obliged to fully compensate the damaged caused by the Cabinet of Ministers Regulation No. 360 to shopping centres. In the coming days, we will analyse the judgment of the Constitutional Court and decide on the next legal and defensive steps of the industry,” points out Mārtiņš Vanags, Chairman of the Board of the Real Estate Developers Alliance.
About NĪAA
The Alliance of Real Estate Developers (NĪAA) brings together the most significant players in the industry in order to achieve the sustainable development of the real estate industry, represent it in a collective manner at the state and local government level, as well as emphasise the role of real estate developers and investors within the economy of Latvia.
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Mārtiņš Vanags - Alliance of Real Estate Developers (NĪAA)