TIME TO WAKE UP: PRIME MINISTER WANTS TO END TRADITION OF SIESTA
WASHINGTON Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy wants to end a longstanding and well-recognized tradition: the mid-afternoon nap.
Under new legislation, Spain would switch the country back to Greenwich Mean Time and do away with siestas, the sleep-filled breaks some Spaniards take.
“I will find a consensus to make sure the working day ends at 6 p.m.,” Rajoy said.
He made the push at a party conference over the weekend, where he tried to court other parties, unions and business leaders to support the idea.
A typical Spanish work day begins at 10 a.m. and is split in half by a twoto three-hour lunch break known as the siesta. Spaniards typically take the break at 2 p.m. and return to work around 4 or 5. The work day typically ends at 8 p.m.
This isn’t the first time that Spain has considered ending the practice.
In 2012, the government loosened restrictions to allow stores to stay open as much as 25 per cent longer each week, a move that threatened the tradition. A year later, a parliamentary commission called for both of Rajoy’s propos-- als: The introduction of a 9-to-5 workday (he suggests it should end at 6 p.m.) and the time-zone switch.