Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy wants to scrap Spain’s long-standing tradition of taking a siesta.
The measure should improve work productivity and help Spain compete with its European partners in the cooler north, according to the PM.
Mariano Rajoy also wants to extend the working day by one hour.
“I will find a consensus to make sure the working day ends at 6 p.m.,” Rajoy said, the Independent reported.
Currently, it’s customary to begin work at 10 a.m. and break at 2 p.m. for a siesta for as long as three hours, ending the work day at 8 p.m.—a tradition that is at least partially attributable to an effort to escape midday heat. But some studies have shown that Spain’s productivity is lower than that of some of its European counterparts and have suggested that eliminating the siesta would improve the quality of life and raise low birth rates in the country, the Independent reported.
Rajoy also proposed bringing Spain back to Greenwich Mean Time, or turning the clocks back one hour. The Spanish leader, General Franco, matched Spain’s time to Germany in 1942 as a gesture of solidarity and it has not been changed since.
The Spanish have always taken time off in the afternoons for a quick nap because of the heat of the sun during that time of day. Their culture has dictated it throughout the ages because of the necessity to survive and adjust. It should be studied and expanded upon as a science and not ridiculed and disposed off as an economic inconvenience for the multinationals.
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