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Spain Considers a New Time Zone

The Spanish government is discussing moving its clocks back 1 hour to help the work-family balance in the country.

Buildings in Madrid, Spain at sunset.

Sunset comes later in Madrid, Spain.


Moving to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) would put Spain on the same time as Portugal and the United Kingdom. Both countries have a similar longitudinal range to Spain.

In The “Wrong” Time Zone

On Monday, December 12, 2016, Spain's Employment Minister, Fátima Báñez, announced that the government was studying the impact of moving mainland Spain back 1 hour to give workers an earlier start in the day.

The aim is to get workers out of the office at 18:00 (6 pm) and improve their work-family balance and align the country's working days with those in the rest of Europe.

The same time change was also up for discussion in 2013. At that time a study concluded that Spain was in the “wrong” time zone with regards to its geographic location and solar time, which affected the population's working hours, sleep, health, and gender equality.

Dictator Franco's Choice

Today, Spain is Europe's westernmost country on Central European Time (CET), and in Galicia in the country's far northwest, the Sun doesn't rise until 09:00 (9 am) in winter.

Spain was originally on GMT when standard time was introduced in the country in 1901. However, in 1940, Spanish dictator, Francisco Franco, decided to put Spain in the same time zone as his fascist allies in Nazi Germany. The time zone was not set back after Franco's fall from power, and Spain remained out of sync with its original time zone.

Time in Spain

Spain has 2 standard time zones: