Posted by Bob on 21/05/2014
What happens when a bromance between dictators gets out of control...
Although it lies on the same lines as Portugal and Britain, Spain is in the wrong time for over 70 years now.
All because of Franco´s bromance with Hitler.
Now the Spanish government is finally on the way to turn the clock back by one hour...maybe.
Spain is considering the need to change the time zone, on the basis of a report published by a parliamentary commission. The report claims that this measure will have a positive impact on quality of life and the productivity of Spain.
The whole mess started in 1942 while WW2 raged and Spain´s ruler General Franco changed the time as an act of sympathy with Hitler´s Nazi regime.
The report asserted that because of the Spain being in wrong time zone for the last 71 years, people sleep for hours less than what is recommended by the World Health Organization.
This has been reported to have negative impact on national productivity, and leading to stress, accidents, absenteeism at workplace and school dropout rates.
Spain is in the wrong time zone. Spain is governed by a clock more than the sun. Which is silly. The whole nation is out of sync with the natural rhythm of the day.
Spanish people typically eat dinner late at night and this one hour glitch doesn't help people rest and recover.
It also means the country has extended morning breaks and lunch times. It is causing wastage of time...which leads to working excess hours in the afternoon... which leads to eating dinner later....which mean starting work early the next day is harder.
The main political parties are split on the issue. Some opposition leaders claim changing the clock back will do nothing in the face of welfare cuts etc etc...
But alot of people hold doubts that Spanish culture, characterized by its late sleeping and late awakening habits can be changed through this simple change in the clock.
Siesta has been a fixture for centuries. Prior to the introduction of air conditioning, siesta was the only way to bear the hot and long afternoons. The irregular working hours caused by the siesta time plays havoc to the entire nation. Imagine being an European company trying to conduct business with a Spanish organization who have conflicting working hours. Every time I explain this to a Spaniard they don't understand.
Typically in Spain, shops will close from 2pm to 4 or 5pm for siesta. Then they reopen until 8 or 10pm. I always feel bad seeing all the bored, confused and scorched pink tourists wandering around Murcia wondering why everything is shut at 3 in the afternoon.
"People have no time to be spent with their personal life or family life", according to the economist Nuria Chinchilla, who researches family life and work at IESE Business School of Spain.
Nuria is striving for Spain to return to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) because of the strain it is causing on Spanish society. On average Spanish women have just 1 child due to shortage of time.
So will Spain ever lose it´s Hitler hour? To be honest, from my experience of living in Spain I doubt it. I think a lot of people would consider it 'EU meddling' or something to do with Cataluña throwing its weight around. The country is very fractured in terms of national allegiance.
See you later. I'm shutting down the site from 2pm to 5pm so I can eat a crazy amount of food, drink a bottle of wine, snooze a little and then wake up complaining that I work more hours than German people do.