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Posted by portugalpress on July 07, 2018

EU citizens who dread the moment they are forced to turn clocks back on ‘late light evenings’ every October currently have the opportunity to say so. Brussels has opened online voting, but there’s a catch: time is running out, and the consultation web page “is experiencing technical problems”.

Said an EU spokeswoman this weekend: “Our IT teams are hard at work to address the issue as soon as possible”.

Time is nonetheless at a premium: votes can only be logged until August 16.

The move follows pressure from a number of member states to do away with what’s known as Daylight Saving Time.

The idea behind adjusting clocks every year is to give people more daylight on summer evenings, and more sunlight on winter mornings.

It’s a rule made with farmers and businesses in mind but one which plays havoc with people’s (and to a certain extent animals’) biorhythms.

Finns for example loathe the hour change which plunges them into semi-permanent darkness throughout the long northern European winter.

Pressed by a public petition signed by 70,000 Finns, politicians are agreed: “Moving clocks forward and backward by an hour in spring and autumn disrupts sleep and work and could cause long-term health problems”.

Now it’s a question of whether other member states concur.

Here, former journalist and MP Manuela Moura Guedes has written over Facebook: “We can’t waste this opportunity. There is no justification for changing the hour in October so that our days become smaller, leaving all of us a little sadder”.

But, according to the consultation blurb, EU citizens have voted on this issue before, in 2014 - and the result was that “the overwhelming majority of member states were happy with the current arrangements”.

Moura Guedes asks: “Where is this petition with so many signatures?” while the Finns, of course, can’t imagine how anyone could be happy.

In February, when Brussels hinted it would ‘grasp the nettle’ and repoll EU citizens (click here), Ireland stepped into the fray saying it too was “working hard” to reverse the twice-yearly hour change.

So, if you have any views on this subject at all, access the consultation page and fill out the form (click here).

If at the end it says you have ‘timed out. Try again’, persist. You will get there in the end.

As for the results, there is a possibility that the majority of answers could favour the permanent keeping of wintertime, as the questionnaire gives three options (sticking with summertime, wintertime or having no opinion).

Thus anyone with any views at all, should get voting...

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com

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