Spain to Stop Siestas

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06 Apr 2016 2:21 PM by bobaol Star rating. 2256 posts Send private message

bobaol´s avatar

Well, here's a good one which I think has been suggested before.

Rajoy's Proposal

He wants people not to work until late into the evening and to stop the traditional 2 or 3 hour lunchtime breaks. I seem to recall this being proposed about ten years or so ago. In addition, he wants Spain to change their clocks so they are on the same time zone as UK, Portugal and the Canaries. A similar article in El Pais stated the Spanish do everything 2 hours behind and work later, eat later, watch TV later, go to bed later and get up later because of the long lunch period and being on the wrong time zone. Other countries in Europe find it difficult to work with Spain because of the long lunch and they are usually getting ready to finish work for the day just as the Spanish get back to their desks.

Cruise ships that had planned to dock in Torrevieja have cancelled this idea as the shops are all closed when the passengers wanted to have a look around and the shopkeepers refused to alter their times.

Of course, this would all depend on if Rajoy gets in as Prime Minister if further elections are held in June (depends on any coalition agreement between the socialist parties). Not sure he'd be on steady ground here as traditions die hard in Spain. Maybe Madrid but the Costas (although they do have large commercial centres and supermarkets which open all day) could be a bit slow to come round to the idea. I do note, however, that quite a few shops, garden centres etc now remain open all day in the expat areas. Just the middle of towns that are a nuisance.

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06 Apr 2016 6:44 PM by johnmcmahon Star rating. 325 posts Send private message

I'm amazed that shops in Torreviecha aren't open during siesta hours. Even Mercadonna don't shut during this time. In Cartagena all the shops/cafes around the harbour stay open although smaller outlets around the railway station close up. My rural neighbours knock off at this time but I'm not sure at all they actually go back to work in the evening......certainly the camiones doing roadwork can't be seen after 2PM....until next morning !

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06 Apr 2016 7:33 PM by camposol Star rating in Camposol. 1408 posts Send private message

Of course shops, factories can do away with the siesta as they have air conditioning now, but builders,  labourers and farm workers will still need it.

Split shifts are horrible, once you have done the morning shift, you don't want to go back, and it plays havoc with social and family life.

I expect businesses that rely on tourism will open in the afternoon and evening too, with their staff on a rota

I 'm surprised the siesta hasn't ended years ago

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06 Apr 2016 10:17 PM by hughjardon Star rating in Jaywick Sands. 419 posts Send private message

hughjardon´s avatar

If you get rid of the Siesta you may as well get rid of everything else thats unique to Spain 

I love the Siesta wake up at 10 bacon saus and eggs couple of pints and a whiskey have a swim sunbathe an hour read the paper have a big lunch few pints a whiskey or two sleep it off wake up at 5 take a shower walk the dog go to the pub have a big meal few pints few whiskys early night 2 am BLISS

My blood pressure and cholestorol are normal I take no meds and Im 70 next Bday 

Please dont get rid of my SIESTA mr Killjoy

Love Hugh xx


Done the Spain thing Happier in the UK

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06 Apr 2016 11:00 PM by camposol Star rating in Camposol. 1408 posts Send private message

It's going to happen whether you like it or not

it doesn't stop your normal routine!

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07 Apr 2016 2:50 PM by Sanchez1 Star rating. 853 posts Send private message

I wouldn't hold your breath.  Rajoy announced a few years back that bank holidays would be moved to a Monday to avoid the "puentes" that the Spanish love.  This still hasn't happened and doubt it ever will.

I know a lot of the bigger companies (mainly non-Spanish) in Madrid have adopted a more Western timetable but I don't think the Siesta will disappear anytime soon.  Especially not in southern Spain/Andalucia.


This message was last edited by Sanchez1 on 07/04/2016.


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09 Apr 2016 8:50 AM by midasgold Star rating in Mijas.. 91 posts Send private message

With temps often 10deg + higher during the siesta period, than other more northen countries,

it is only logical that people here in Spain will take a rest..

If lucky, there is another day.

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09 Apr 2016 9:50 AM by Thistles Star rating. 5 posts Send private message

Dear hughjardon Your lifestyle, much as you like it, doesn't revolve around a siesta. You can continue with your pattern whatever the Spanish working man is doing. Me? I'm for getting rid of the siesta especially since my German neighbours insist that all around keep silent for 2 hours everyday!


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09 Apr 2016 9:56 AM by Hephaestus Star rating in The Peak District Na.... 1235 posts Send private message

Spain for the Spanish, immigrants and holiday makers should fit in with the traditions and customs of the host nation, I am a great believer in intigration but am totally against domination. 


I'm Spartacus, well why not?

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09 Apr 2016 11:28 AM by jackexpat Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

Isn't the siesta an eminently sensible idea in a country where temperatures can soar to the mid 40s in the middle of a summer afternoon. That practical consideration aside, the siesta reminds us that life is about more than just being a wage slave on a treadmill which is so characteristic of northern Europe and the US which have turned a low wage high cost nightmare run by the multinationals. A compromise might be flexible hours. Glad I'm retired.

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09 Apr 2016 11:33 AM by bilco Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

One of the most important attractions of Spain to northern Europeans like me is that most people, especially in the south, work traditional siesta hours. Although occassionally irritating for the most part we find it highly advantageous and attractive. Not only is it often far too hot for any effective work during those hours but it has now been fully proven that an after lunch period of rest or sleep not only improves one's health but also increases actual work performance. Comparing with northern European work hours can be misleading as most businesses and especially shops actually remain open until around 9 in the evening anyway and many for the full 24 hours.


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09 Apr 2016 12:56 PM by fenixcapital Star rating. 1 posts Send private message

I would propose that the rest of  Europe takes over spanish working hours and siestas.

I am sure this  would improve their life quality.

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09 Apr 2016 1:40 PM by nicechap Star rating. 11 posts Send private message

One of the reasons I came here was to get away from 24/7 shopping why do people need to have shops one 24/7 if they were to get there lives in order  we could go back to 5 1/2 days and there life would be so much better

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09 Apr 2016 4:10 PM by Tadd1966 Star rating in Los Montesinos. 1755 posts Send private message

many places stay open during siesta time especially bars and restaurants wonder how many would complain if these all closed for siesta

many shops also stay open longer now as there is a demand

If you dont like shops being open 24/7 then don't visit while you are having your siesta simple really

I like to shop when it suits me and I try to choose the quietest times which also suits me often late opening hours suit me and many others


“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge”

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09 Apr 2016 4:22 PM by scubamike Star rating in Murcia province . 220 posts Send private message

scubamike´s avatar

I ran a business in the UK that was open 5 1/2 days a week but due to competition we had to open 7 days a week There was no increase in sales just running costs i. e. extra staff electricity etc 

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09 Apr 2016 4:41 PM by Hephaestus Star rating in The Peak District Na.... 1235 posts Send private message

Building workers, gardeners etc are far more productive if they don't attempt to work during the heat of the day, no one is advocating not having late shopping hours, I've been visiting Spain since the 1960's and can't recall bars and restaurants closing for afternoon siestas, actually I do recall many a Spanish manual worker partaking in refreshments and tapas during their siestas.


I'm Spartacus, well why not?

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09 Apr 2016 5:31 PM by bobaol Star rating. 2256 posts Send private message

bobaol´s avatar

Rajoy's main point is that Spain is in the wrong time zone which makes those in Spain do everything later. I don't think he means the agricultural workers, building workers or whatever to work through the heat but more that the office workers should align themselves to other European countries. As he says, other countries do find it difficult to contact anyone in Spain unti they are just knocking off work.

I know that when I lived in Cyprus (which gets hotter) the siesta period was only in the actual summer months of July to mid September but normal working the rest of the year. Mind, we used to start work at 7 in the morning and finish at 1:30 as did many of the offices and schools. 

Italy was 8 to 1 and then 3 to 7 but that even included the northern areas which don't have the same heat as the Mediterrean bit.

Very much doubt if much will change.

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09 Apr 2016 6:49 PM by dunworkin Star rating. 4 posts Send private message

I think the siesta is Spain's best invention and this practice ought to be extended throughout the EU in line with global warming. 

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09 Apr 2016 7:21 PM by jackexpat Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

bobaol - a point well made, but of course Rajoy represents the monied and  bosses and not really those who work for them - changing the time zone would be the thin end of the wedge in the sense of an erosion of the kind of Medditteranean lifestyle so admired by many in northern Europe.

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09 Apr 2016 7:34 PM by Hephaestus Star rating in The Peak District Na.... 1235 posts Send private message

Perhaps there should be a referendum on it, the voting stations could be open during the siesta. laugh


I'm Spartacus, well why not?

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