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Spanish Clocks Still In Line with Hitler Time

Parliamentary commission warns of the 'profound effects' changing the time, at this point, will have on the Spanish people

By: Graham Sigurdson
Published: September 27th, 2013 in News » World

Until the 1940s, Spain was on the same time as Britain and Portugal, all on more of less the same latitude. Despite this, when Nazi-occupied France switched to German time, Spanish dictator Francisco Franco followed suit.

The Times of Israel reports that a parliamentary commission looked into the effects of moving the clocks back one hour, coming to the conclusion that it would have ‘profound effects’ on the habits of Spaniards, whose culture is famed for its long lunch breaks, late shifts, and the well known 'siestas'.

Spanish lawmakers spoke passionately about the effects of not having changed the clocks. "The fact that for more than 71 years Spain has not been in its proper time zone means … we sleep almost an hour less than the World Health Organization recommends. All this has a negative effect on productivity, absenteeism, stress, accidents and school drop-out rates."

The commission issued a non-binding recommendation, urging that a study be commissioned to study the economic consequences of changing the time, to be considered by parliament.

Carmen Quintanilla, the commission’s president, said that the change would be "a foundation stone" in a series of changes that would make work and school hours more flexible, with work and family life becoming more compatible as a result. "We drag out the morning and extend our lunchtime. We lose time and have to work more hours in the afternoon. Eating later, we have to start work later, which means we get off work later," she said

In Spain, the typical working day is divided in two, with lunch periods sometimes being as long as two hours. Because of this, many workers dine at home - which health experts believe to be beneficial - in turn allowing them to enjoy the famous tradition of 'siesta.' As nice as this may seem, many workers, as a result, do not finish till 7 p.m., with many shops staying open till 10, at which point bars begin to fill for drawn out nights of social interaction.

Nuria Chinchilla, a business school executive who aided in the study, had heavy words for lawmakers. "Our time schedules have serious effects on the daily life of Spaniards. We live in permanent jet lag."

Related articles: World News, Spain, Hitler, World War II, Jewish News
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