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Daylight Savings Time in Greece Begins on Sunday

Daylight savings time in Greece will begin on Sunday.
Daylight savings time in Greece will begin on Sunday. Credit: TooFarNorth. CC BY 2.0/flickr

The daylight savings time will begin in Greece and the rest of the European Union tomorrow.

At 03:00 Greeks will set their clocks to 04:00 as daylight saving time always goes into effect on the last Sunday of March.

Often referred to as simply ‘Daylight Savings’ or ‘summer time’, the change means that Greeks will lose an hour of sleep on Sunday but they will make better use of the daylight available.

Between March and October, an hour of daylight is borrowed from the morning and added to the end of the day. In modern society, this means saving a fraction on energy bills, and in Greece, the producer price is the highest in the EU, almost twice the EU average, according to the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy.

First suggested by Benjamin Franklin back in 1784

Daylight saving time was introduced relatively recently, although it was first suggested by Benjamin Franklin back in 1784. He suggested that if we started our days earlier, when it’s lighter, then it would save on candles.

Fast forward to 1907, the great-great-grandfather of Coldplay’s lead singer, Chris Martin, published a leaflet entitled The Waste Of Daylight. As a keen golfer and horse rider, William Willett was eager to make the most of the daylight hours and campaigned for the rest of his life. Although his proposal was not a straightforward one; it involved moving the clocks forward by 80 minutes, in four separate increments of 20 minutes each Sunday at 2am.

It was Canada that became the first country to implement Daylight Saving Time, in 1908. The US followed suit in 1918. Only around 70 countries (of 195) worldwide use it. Japan, India and China, as well as most countries near the equator, do not.

US Senate votes to make daylight saving time permanent

In 2022, the United States Senate passed the Sunshine Protection Act to make daylight saving time permanent; the bill failed in the House and expired at the end of the year. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has opposed the Sunshine Protection Act and called instead for permanent standard time, a position supported by the American College of Chest Physicians and the World Sleep Society, among others.

In March last year, the Sunshine Protection Act was reintroduced, but as of January this year, there has been no appreciable progress of the bill.

Arizona, Hawaii, and U.S. territories already following permanent standard time would be exempt from the law. These states and territories would continue using their current system of permanent standard time. Any other state that adopted permanent standard time before the Sunshine Protection Act became law would also be exempt.

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