Spain has announced plans to axe its famous three-hour siestas in a bid to drag its workforce into the 21st Century and increase productivity.
The country’s Prime Minister said he wanted the working day to end at 6pm, bringing an end to the traditional three-hour midday break.
Workers currently start at about 9am and stay in the office until about 8pm – with the siesta breaking up the day at lunchtime.
But Mariano Rajoy, leader of the coalition government, wants to bring the working day in line with the rest of Europe.
He told a party conference that he was looking to secure cross-party backing for the plan and secure support from unions and businesses.
He said: ‘I will find a consensus to make sure the working day ends at 6pm.’
It is thought the move may have been a bid to attract support ahead of the country’s June elections. Many favour a change to the current system, which involves a long working day.
Siestas are generally popular in hot climates and are used to allow people to sleep while the sun’s rays are at their strongest.
According to the Independent there was a report by a Spanish parliamentary commission which examined the issue three years ago.
The commission said: ‘We need more flexible working hours, to cut our lunch breaks, to streamline business meetings by setting time limits for them, and to practise and demand punctuality.’
The commission’s report suggested that reducing the length of time of the siesta would boost the quality of life in Spain and even reduce marriage breakdowns.
This article originally appeared on the Daily Mail.