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Sweden agrees to consider ditching daylight saving time

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Sweden agrees to consider ditching daylight saving time
File photo of a sunrise. Photo: Ingo Wagner/AP
11:50 CET+01:00
The Swedish government says it is not against ditching daylight saving time if there is broad support in the country or the Riksdag.

There has been growing debate about whether moving clocks forward by one hour in the spring then changing them back in the autumn is really beneficial, and with the government in Finland now pushing the issue at EU level, a similar discussion is being welcomed by the government across the border in Sweden.

Finland is moving to formally lobby the EU to abolish daylight saving time after more than 70,000 Finns signed a position asking for it to end. After consulting experts a Finnish parliamentary committee on the matter concluded that changing clocks causes sleeping problems, potentially causes health issues and can also impact efficiency at work.

An EU-wide directive on daylight saving means no EU member state can act alone and end the practice, and instead it must be agreed upon by all other members.

"With Finland now choosing to raise the issue at a meeting of EU ministers I think it will lead to a discussion in several member states and also Sweden, and I welcome that discussion," Swedish Enterprise and Innovation Minister Tomas Eneroth told public broadcaster Sveriges Radio.

"I wouldn't have anything against doing it if there is strong support in Sweden or Sweden's Riksdag," he added.

Next week the European Parliament will vote on whether the current system of changing the clocks twice a year should be changed, and a vote in favour could pressure the European Commission to act.

Previously the only party to give support for scrapping daylight saving time in Sweden was the Green Party, with the Riksdag saying no to past proposals.

READ ALSO: Swedish politicians wage war on time changes

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