Spain’s Balearic Islands want a time-out on turning the clock back one hour this Sunday in accordance with the rest of the country and the European Union.
El Pais reports that their regional assembly has requested to remain with Daylight Saving Time indefinitely. The thrust of their message is that the Balearics islands – the four biggest of which are Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera – are the Spanish regions hit hardest by the time change. The proposal has been made by a collection of eco-nationalists from MÉS Menorca and has already been signed by every political group within the legislative chamber.
This Sunday, the sun will set at 5.45pm (Mahón), at 5.52pm (Palma de Mallorca) and 6pm (Ibiza). This time is almost 50 minutes earlier than the time the sun will go down in western Spanish cities.
Regional lawmakers admit they only adhere to a Greenwich Meridian time zone because of “obsolete” political decisions than stem from “an industrial nature.” They want backing for “a rational, logical and natural timetable,” claiming that “modern society needs the hours of daylight to adapt to its leisure time.”
They also include some issues that result from the lack of sunlight, saying it is “key” to maintaining a healthy body and mind. It also highlights the fact that an absence of sun can cause mood changes, leading to depression and insomnia.
They refer to the benefit of natural sunlight; enabling more outdoor activities in the afternoon, conserving energy, promoting tourism and increases retail sales. It also creates an easier work-family balance.
Social movements have been taking place for years in favour of keeping the summer schedule, as it would lead to more hours of daylight during the afternoon. The supporting movement, known as Illes amb claror (Islands with clarity), has been gaining traction via social media. Their demands underline favouring people’s needs in a solar schedule rather than giving preference to the “schedules of large corporations.”
The regional assembly now supports that stand, stating that the Balearics are the most eastern part of Spain, meaning the sun rises and sets there earlier than anywhere else.