reloj DalíLast month, the american newspaper The  New York Times published a report entitled ‘Spain, Land of 10 P.M. Dinners, Asks if It’s Time to Reset Clock’ (España, el país de las cenas a las 22.00 horas, se pregunta si es momento de cambiar el reloj).

Do you want to know our opinion? Keep reading…

Surveys (las encuestas) show that nearly a quarter of Spain’s population is watching television between midnight and 1 am, but it’s also true that Spaniards are used to operate on its own clock and rhythms (even as people in some countries are preparing for bed, the Spanish evening is usually beginning at 10 pm, with dinner often being served and prime-time television shows starting).

During the week, Spaniards have breakfast around 7.00-8.00 am; they have lunch at 2-3 pm and eventually they enjoy dinner at 10-10.30 pm (durante la semana, los españoles desayunan alrededor de las 7.00-8.00 de la mañana; comen a las 2.00-3.00 del mediodía y finalmente disfrutan de la cena a las 10.00-10.30 de la noche).

In this article, we can read: “It is the Spanish identity, to eat in another time, to sleep in another time,” said Mr. Rodríguez, 36, who had to get up early the next morning for his bank job (en este artículo podemos leer: “”Es la identidad española, comer a otra hora, dormir a otra hora”, comenta el Sr. Rodríguez, de 36 años, que al día siguiente tiene que levantarse temprano para trabajar en un banco).

siestaAs far as I know, just a few Spaniards take a nap, mostly people who work for the Government (funcionarios) since they finish working at 2.00-3.00 pm. The rest of the people can’t take a nap because they don’t have enough time to go home for lunch. My parents (my dad used to work as a doctor and my mom still works as a nurse) have always taken a nap after work (siempre se han echado la siesta después del trabajo), as well of one of my best friends, who works as a journalist in a magazine from 08.00 am to 2.00 pm. The rest of my family and friends don’t take any naps at all.

On the other hand, I really think that we should replace our elastic working schedules (horarios de trabajo elásticos) by something closer to a 9-to-5 timetable and, moreover, television programs would be scheduled an hour earlier (los programas de televisión deberían programarse una hora antes). The article on The New York Times says: “Underpinning the proposed changes is a recommendation to change time itself by turning back the clocks an hour, which would move Spain out of the time zone that includes France, Germany and Italy. Instead, Spain would join its natural geographical slot with Portugal and Britain in Coordinated Universal Time, the modern successor to Greenwich Mean Time”.

I think that we should break the bad habits we have accumulated over the past 40 or 50 years (creo que deberíamos de acabar con los malos hábitos que hemos acumulado durante los últimos 40 o 50 años). Our national schedule can be traced to World War II, when the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco moved the clocks forward to align with Nazi Germany, as also happened in neighboring Portugal. After the defeat of Hitler, Portugal returned to Greenwich Mean Time, but Spain did not.

Francisco Franco

Francisco Franco

In the early decades of his rule, Franco ordered radio stations to broadcast reports of news and propaganda twice a day to coincide with mealtimes at about 2.30 pm and 10 pm. Television arrived in the 1950s and followed the same mandate, with daily programming on the lone government channel ending at midnight with the national anthem and a portrait of Franco.

Do you really think that if Spain changes its schedule, this would help Spain’s economic recovery? (¿De verdad creéis que si España cambia sus horarios esto ayudará a su recuperación económica?)