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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Germans Left Unmoved by 'Historic' Act

BONN -- News of one of the biggest changes in decades for everyday life in Germany -- the planned loosening of restrictive shop closing hours -- went over Wednesday like a lead balloon.

After 20 years of debate, Germans seemed too tired to really care that Chancellor Helmut Kohl's governing party had finally mustered the courage to extend weekday shopping hours from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Bild, the mass-circulation daily that usually reacts to such changes like a geiger counter, did not bother to tell its readers they also would be able to shop Saturday afternoons or buy fresh rolls on Sunday mornings.

Even the shopkeepers' and store workers' lobbies, which used to predict everything from economic ruin to the collapse of family life if shop hours were extended, responded with only hollow-sounding warnings.