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Argentina Says No To Daylight Saving Time

Argentina's government cancelled its plans to implement daylight saving time (DST) on October 18, 2009.

Sunset in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Argentina Says No To Daylight Saving Time

©iStockphoto.com/Silvia Boratti

Argentina will not observe daylight saving time (DST) on October 18, 2009. Federal Planning Minister Julio De Vido confirmed that Argentina would not observe DST at the moment because there was no need for it. This decision is made in light of at least 20 provinces expressing opposition to daylight saving time.

In the meantime, San Luis recently moved the clocks one hour forward so the province's time zone is now three hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-3).

Government Aborts 2009–2010 Daylight Saving Schedule

Argentina's federal government has confirmed that there would be no DST for the nation. The plan to move the clocks one hour forward at midnight (00:00) between Saturday, October 17, and Sunday, October 18, in 2009, is scrapped.

Federal Planning Minister Julio De Vido recently made a public announcement about the DST cancellation, stating that DST would be pointless because all dams were about 90 percent full capacity. Moreover, a recent radio announcement confirmed that President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner decided that the nation would not observe DST for now.

San Luis One Hour Ahead of Standard Time

The San Luis province moved its clocks one hour forward at midnight (00:00) between Saturday, October 10, 2009, and Sunday, October 11, 2009. The province’s time zone is now on UTC-3 as part of the DST schedule.

timeanddate.com contacted a few sources in San Luis to check that the province was still on UTC-3, despite the federal government's announcement that the nation's DST schedule was scrapped. For the moment, San Luis observes the same time as the rest of Argentina. The province is on UTC-4 when it is not on daylight saving time.

Strong Opposition Against DST

Many provincial governors, power companies, businesses and community groups across the nation expressed that they opposed the DST schedule prior to its cancellation.

Previously, there were 13 provinces that abandoned Argentina’s 2008–2009 DST schedule. They included:

  • Catamarca (recent reports say that the province may observe the 2009–2010 DST schedule).
  • Jujuy
  • La Rioja
  • Mendoza
  • Salta
  • San Juan
  • San Luis
  • La Pampa
  • Neuquén
  • Rio Negro
  • Chubut
  • Santa Cruz
  • Tierra del Fuego (officially Provincia de Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur).

There were at least 20 provinces that were uncertain if they would support DST if the government was going to implement a 2009–2010 DST schedule.

Recent Time History

Most locations in Argentina, with exception to the San Luis province, which observed daylight saving time for about 11 weeks, observed DST from December 30, 2007, until March 16, 2008. Argentina's congress approved the daylight saving change as part of a broader government plan to conserve energy as the demand for power increases.

However, the San Luis province pushed the clock back to its original time on January 21, 2008, setting it one hour behind the rest of the country. Interestingly, according to government officials, San Luis was one of the provinces that achieved the most energy savings in the last week of January, after it reverted to its pre-daylight saving time. In 2009 San Luis changed its time zone to be four hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (or UTC-4) when there is no DST and UTC-3 when there is DST. Prior to this, San Luis was on UTC -3 during the non-daylight saving period and on UTC-2 during the daylight saving period in previous years.

Argentina also observed a 2008–2009 DST schedule, despite nationwide calls to abandon the arrangement. The federal government confirmed that the schedule would begin at midnight between October 18 and October 19 in 2008. On this date, the clocks moved one hour forward. The 2008–2009 daylight saving period ended at midnight between March 14 (Saturday) and March 15 (Sunday) in 2009.