World News

Spain may move its clock back one hour, reversing Franco decision

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain’s government will consider reversing a decision taken by dictator Francisco Franco and moving the country’s clocks back one hour to normalise its working hours, the Spanish labour minister said on Monday.

Spain was originally in the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) zone along with Britain and Portugal, with which it is geographically in line, but around 70 years ago Franco shifted Spain’s clocks one hour ahead to be in line with Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

Supporters of moving the clock back one hour say it would improve Spain’s weak productivity and allow for work and family life to better fit together. Due to its time zone, Spaniards have long worked longer hours and finished later than in other European countries.

Labour Minister Fatima Banez told parliament she wanted to bring Spain’s working days in line with the rest of Europe.

“We want our workdays to finish at six o’clock and to achieve this we will work towards striking a deal with representatives from both companies and trade unions,” she said.

The People’s Party of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and the smaller Ciudadanos party agreed on the reform in August. The Socialists, the main opposition party, also support it, making it more likely to pass through a fragmented parliament.

Reporting by Blanca Rodriguez; Writing by Jesus Aguado; Editing by Angus Berwick