Friday, 8 March 2013

Campaign wants Spanish time to return to GMT

(Image: twistedcartoonist)
Changed in 1942 in support of Nazis · Increases absenteeism and low productivity
MADRID The Comisión Nacional para la Racionalización de los Horarios Españoles (ARHOE, or National Commission for the Rationalization of Spanish Hours) this week presented an appeal to the Government, asking that the time change due on March 31 (one hour forward) be cancelled, and that Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) be restored instead. The change would allow better combination of work and family life, they say. This petition is part of a campaign that wants Spain to have hours similar to the rest of Europe, thus promoting less absenteeism and better productivity, according to the Commission.>>>
The average Spaniard sleeps 53 minutes less than the average in Europe, which, says ARHOE, impacts health, absenteeism, stress and work-related injuries.

The Spanish time zone was originally in step with GMT (one hour behind Spain at present) but it was changed to coincide with the time in Berlin on May 2, 1942, in the middle of WW2, as a gesture of friendship between Franco and Hitler. And it was never changed back.

This, according to ARHOE, was mistake because GMT is better adapted to the solar timetable in Spain.

Aside from these changes, ARHOE wants more flexible hours so that those interminable lunch hours can be made shorter, meeting times and schedules can be optimised and punctuality can be asserted. That, as well as having the most popular TV programmes ending at 11pm on workdays (instead of at around one in the morning, more often then not). 

One comment on the subject of dinner times: 'It isn't normal to have dinner at 10pm, as we do in Spain, instead of eight at the latest. Of course, I wouldn't want to have dinner at 6 or 7pm either." This from a Congressman in Madrid.

What do you think of the hours as lived in Spain?

See also: World Time Zones.

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