What does Spain mean to you? Eating later, going to bed later, having a siesta and partying all night long in the streets of festive cities… In other words, making the most of Spain’s rather different concept of time.
But do you know where this originally came from? It goes back to the Second World War. At that time the countries of Western Europe aligned with the times in Germany (central Europe time zone) in order to keep Hitler happy. And, unlike the United Kingdom and Portugal, Spain never switched back to its original time zoneand so is out of synch with solar time.
While this situation is ideal for holidays, in the current crisis the Spanish authorities feel that too much time is being wasted (roughly 90 minutes per working day) and precious productivity is being lost.
Furthermore this idiosyncrasy also creates differences of up to three hours between French and Spanish border cities – surely not good for business!
Spanish MPs are therefore looking to change the country’s time zone.
While the economic reasons for this are sound, it is doubtful that it will produce a social revolution. The Spanish adopted this time zone over 70 years ago – that’s two full generations. And old habits die hard…