Sukiennice supermarket controversy
Supermarket giant Carrefour has moved into one of Krakow's most historic buildings - after slipping a cheeky planning application past the city's authorities. Red-faced magistrates admitted that they did not check the exact nature of the new shop on the Mariacki side of the famous Sukiennice. Now they must bite their lips and allow Carrefour to continue trading in the 16th century Cloth Hall for three months - although the store's contract will be cancelled as soon as that time period is up. The Sukiennice has for centuries been a major European market, and was at one time on the crossroads of trade within Europe, and between this continent and the East. But Carrefour's new outlet has provoked uproar amongst Cracovians, who say that the landmark was never meant to sell cigarettes and magazines. Carrefour, however, said their Express outlet answered tourists' requirements - offering a city centre outlet on the Krakow sightseeing route. When Cracow Life asked locals for their thoughts, opinions were mixed. Teacher Barbara said: "It's appalling! The person responsible for this careless decision should be held accountable." But student Tadek said: "Why not? This is as good a place for a kiosk as anywhere else."