Spanish government gazette publishes last date of summer and winter time

by admin
time changes

With a month to go until daylight saving time starts again, discussions about the relevance of this practice are heating up again in Spain. On Sunday, March 31, 2024, the clocks in the country will be moved forward one hour, from 2.00 am to 3.00 am. However, this event means more than just an adjustment of time. It continues to fuel a broader debate about the lifestyle and daily routine of the people of Spain.

The controversy over the time changes in the European Union started in September 2018. At the time, the European Commission expressed concerns about their negative health effects. Organisations such as the Spanish Sleep Association warned of the damage these time changes can cause. They pointed out possible sleep problems and potential health risks such as obesity, diabetes, heart attacks, stroke, depression or anxiety.

Majority wants to abolish daylight saving time

A public consultation conducted by the European Commission found that the majority of people are against the time change and are calling for its abolition. In Spain, an overwhelming 64% of respondents agreed to permanently end the practice of changing the time in winter and summer.

However, the solution to this controversy is not as simple as it seems. To put an end to seasonal changes, it would be necessary to agree on a common time for all countries of the European Union. This poses a challenge due to the differences in daylight hours between Member States. Despite the results of the public consultation, the European Parliament decided in 2018 not to equalise times in all countries of the Union, with 384 votes against and 153 in favour.

Dates until 2026

The Official Gazette (BOE) recently published the exact dates of the time changes until 2026 in Spain. This continues the tradition of the hour change. These dates include moving the clocks forward in March and turning them back in October.

Cogesa Expats

The choice of March 31, 2024 as the date for the hour change has sparked speculation about the possible end of this practice in Spain. Although the government has not confirmed anything in this regard.

Spain lives in the wrong time

The geographical location of Spain is more in line with the GMT time zone, like Portugal and the UK. Yet Spain lives according to Central European Time (CET). In 1940, the regime of Francisco Franco decided to align the clocks with those of friendly Nazi Germany. It was a sign of solidarity with the Nazi regime. Franco had strengthened ties with this during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). Hitler’s Germany had supported Franco’s nationalist forces with military aid through the Condor Legion. That help was crucial for Franco’s victory. Spain therefore switched from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to Central European Time (CET). This meant that the clocks were moved forward one hour.

Daily routines and natural light cycles

This change continues to impact daily life in Spain to this day, with daily routines and work schedules not fully adapted to natural light cycles. This has led to the unique Spanish culture with late dinners and long working days. These are therefore attributed to this historical change in the time zone.

Despite several discussions and proposals to return to the GMT zone, Spain remains in the CET zone for the time being. The discussion about time zone in Spain is complex and includes considerations related to economics, health, lifestyle and energy consumption.

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