Clocks in Greece and the rest of the EU go back an hour on Sunday as daylight saving time ends.
At 4 AM on Sunday, Greek time clocks will be set for 3 AM. The transition occurs as the EU’s push to abolish daylight saving time is proving unsuccessful.
In 2019, the European Parliament voted to remove daylight energy-saving time permanently. The initial plan was to stop seasonal time changes after spring 2021. However, this was put on ice due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The vote did not have any legal effect and the European Commission previously said, “The ball is now in the Member States’ court as it is up to them to find a common position in Council.”
Former EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had stated flatly back in 2018: “We carried out a survey, millions responded, and believe that in future, Summertime should be year-round, and that’s what will happen. The people want it, [and] we’ll do it.”
At the time, it seemed like a slam dunk that everyone could agree would benefit the citizens of all nations.
However, it is clear now that the Commission itself has no such power to simply decree that all member nations employ daylight savings time. Conversely, it is a decision that must be made by each and every national government in the Union.
Disadvantages of turning clocks back
Originally, daylight savings time had been instituted as a way to save power during wartime and when electricity was needed the most. This is something that is hardly the case in Europe today.
In addition, it has been claimed that not pushing the time back one hour and remaining on summertime helps in the reduction of traffic accidents and even improves the circadian rhythms of the human body.
While many enjoy the extra hour in bed, there are some disadvatages. International evidence indicates that break-ins could rise by as much as 20 percent over the coming months when daylight hours are at their lowest level.
Critics have also said that changing the clocks is economically and socially disruptive, therefore canceling out any benefits.
Those in favor of abolishing the time switch said there were health benefits of doing away with the biannual time shift, energy savings to be made, and more time would be created for evening leisure activities.
The different daylight-saving practices across the world
While daylight saving may not be over in the EU yet, many countries have never acclimated to the practice, while others have been able to shake it from their schedules.
The majority of Africa, Singapore, and Japan have never taken part in daylight savings. India, Brazil, Egypt, Malaysia, and Russia have all been successful at eliminating daylight savings time from their societies.
Furthermore, while the switch to daylight savings time is a famous annual occurrence in the US, not every state follows this. Hawaii and Arizona, which are both closer to the equator, are the two states that do not change their clocks.
“Arizona is the sole contiguous state that abstains from daylight saving time, citing its extreme summer temperatures,” Assistant Professor Laura Grant of McKenna College in California said to Australian site News.
“Although this disparity causes confusion for travelers, the state’s residents have not changed…[time] for over 40 years,” she states in a piece on daylight savings published by The Conversation.
“Everyone has strong opinions about daylight savings,” she continued.