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Swiss Might Drop Daylight Savings

20 Minutes.


© Jibmeyer | - Click to enlarge

Switzerland could drop daylight savings. Currently, Switzerland’s Federal Council sees no reason to abandon it, however if Switzerland’s neighbours did it would follow, mainly for economic reasons said the Federal council.

National councilor Yvette Estermann (UDC/SVP), who is fiercely opposed to daylight saving, took the opportunity to point out the negative health consequences of changing the time every six months.

The idea of daylight savings was proposed by New Zealander George Hudson in 1895 and first used in Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1916 to save energy.

While most of Europe and North America now use it, much of the world does not. China, Russia, Japan, India, most of Africa and most of South America do not shift their clocks in summer. Some countries such as the USA, Australia and Canada have regions that do and regions that don’t. For example most of the US state of Arizona and Hawaii do not have daylight saving while the rest of the country does.

The world map below shows the regions which use it in blue.

Swiss might drop daylight savings

After Swiss voters rejected the idea in a referendum in 1978, the Swiss government introduced it in 1981 to align Swiss time with the time in neighbouring countries.

Until the change, the summer time difference was a major inconvenience for the economy, in particular transactions, public transport, tourism and communication.

More on this:
20 Minutes article  (in French)  – Take a 5 minute French test now
Official 1978 Swiss federal vote explanation (in French)

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