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To increase productivity and decrease work hours, Spain's PM set to end 'siesta'

India TV News Desk 05 Apr 2016, 10:23:52 AM IST
India TV News Desk

Spain has announced plans to cut the working day by two hours and bring an end to the siesta, in an attempt to bring the country into line with its European counterparts and increase productivity.

According to the media reports,the country's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said, he wanted the working day to end at 6pm, bringing an end to the traditional three-hour midday lunch and nap breaks to bring Spain into the 21st century.

Mariano Rajoy,leader of the coalition government, made an announcement in response to concerns about Spain’s slow economy and citizens’ quality of life.

He said "I will find a consensus to make sure the working day ends at 6pm."
Spanish workers currently start working at 10am, staying until 2pm when they have a siesta up to three hours before leaving at 8pm.

The siesta was founded historically for the country's agricultural workers so that they could avoid the unbearable midday heat, according to media reports. 

Still despite having more working hours than their German counterparts, Spanish workers' average productivity is far much less than them.

A 2013 Spanish parliamentary commission said: "We need more flexible working hours, to cut our lunch breaks, to streamline business meetings by setting time limits for them, and to practise and demand punctuality."

The cutting the siesta would raise the quality of life, raise the low birth rates and reduce marriage breakdowns, says the report.

Mr Rajoy is also looking to turn the clocks back by one hour to bring Spain in line with Greenwich Mean Time.

Spain has been one hour ahead of Britain since General Franco adopted Berlin time.

The odd time arrangement dates back to 1942  when Hitler's Nazi regime backed support from former dictator General Franco. He showed his support by adopting German Time.