Hungary and Lithuania to abolish daylight saving time?
According to mno.hu, Lithuania would like to abolish daylight saving time in the European Union. The parliament of Vilnius decided to start negotiations with Brussels on the issue. The problem was raised in Hungary last autumn by the biggest opposition party, Jobbik. Lajos Kepli, a lawmaker of the party stated this April that abandoning the twice-yearly clock changes would improve Hungarians’ mental health and increase the nation’s productivity. However, the government did not support the idea and outvoted it in the National Assembly’s Committee on Economic Affairs.
80% of Hungarians are fed up with DST
In fact, Hungary is currently in the Central European Time Zone, one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1). Like most states in Europe, time is shifted forward by 1 hour; 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2) during summer. After the summer months, the clock in Hungary is turned back by 1 hour to Central European Time (CET) or (GMT+1). This is the so-called daylight saving time (DST) introduced in the 80s to spare energy.
As we reported before, a survey showed that four out of five Hungarians would cancel DST. In addition, one out of five doesn’t even know if they have to shift forward or backwards in the autumn. Clearly, half of the respondents mentioned that
the main problem is the turnover of their biological balance.
In fact, the primary reason of those who are against the winter time is the early darkening. 4 people out of 10 feel discomfort in the early dark hours. The majority of people over 55 stated that they even have
health problems after each time shift.
Thus, it is not by chance that a Hungarian Facebook-group supporting the abolishment of daylight saving time has more than 10 thousand followers already.
Lithuania starting negotiations with Brussels
People think similarly in Lithuania, as well. An opinion poll published this year showed that 79% of them were against the annual ritual of adjusting clocks. Thus, Lithuania has said that
it would push the European Union to abolish its directive on DST.
The Baltic nation’s parliament voted 76 to seven, with seven abstentions, in favour of opening negotiations with the EU Commission. ‘The government decided to initiate discussions within the EU about whether the directive is still relevant’ – said Deividas Matulionis, the adviser to PM Saulius Skvernelis.
The European Commission said it was ‘currently examining the summertime question based on all available evidence.’ An EU official said EU-wide daylight saving rules help avoid problems for the transport, logistics and energy sectors. In addition, studies showed they have ‘led to some energy savings’.
However, Matulionis said that
some people cannot easily adapt to the change.
Furthermore, they feel it has a negative impact on their health. He added that there was no conclusive proof of the economic benefits. In fact, senior politicians in fellow EU states like Finland, Poland and Sweden have also criticised the ritual. Clearly, DST is used across most of North America and Europe.
Jobbik would have already abolished daylight saving time in Hungary
Lajos Kepli, a lawmaker of biggest Hungarian opposition party Jobbik has already initiated abolition of DST last autumn. However, state secretary said that it would affect public transport and trade negatively. Meanwhile, it would cause difficulties in railways and air travel schedules – added János Fónagy. Kepli replied that
adjusting clocks does not save energy anymore, but it has a considerable negative effect on human body.
Though the National Assembly’s Committee on Economic Affairs unanimously backed Kepli’s bill in November 2016, government majority outvoted it later. As a result, the issue is frozen at the moment. However, Jobbik promises that after coming into power in 2018, they would abolish daylight saving time in Hungary. If so,
they would find a possible ally in Lithuania.
Source: mno.hu, theguardian.com, Daily News Hungary