Home News Controversy Erupts Over Plan to Trim Spain’s Working Hours

Controversy Erupts Over Plan to Trim Spain’s Working Hours

Spain's working Hours could be cut
Plans to cut working hours in Spain's hospitality sector has met with great opposition. Image: X ( Formerly Twitter)

Spain’s second vice president, Yolanda Díaz, does not see it as “reasonable” for restaurants to be open at one in the morning and plans to cut the hours down

The leader of Sumar has announced that her department is working on rationalizing Spain’s working hours. However, the minister’s words have generated criticism from the opposition, leisure industry employers, and the Hospitality Confederation.

The Minister of Labour and leader of Sumar has stated that “it is not reasonable” for restaurants to be open at one in the morning and has described the difference in work schedules between Spain and the rest of Europe as “crazy”.

“We cannot expect to continue extending opening hours until who knows what time,” explained the government’s vice president in her speech in Congress before the Sumar parliamentary group.

Her words have also provoked criticism from the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso.

“They want us to be puritanical, materialistic, socialist, soulless, without light, and without restaurants just because they feel like it. Boring and at home,” Ayuso wrote on her X account (formerly Twitter).

Ayuso stressed that Spain is “different” from the rest of Europe and that it “has the best nightlife in the world, with streets full of life and freedom,” also emphasizing that it “also creates jobs.”

The spokesperson for the Popular Party, Borja Sémper, also expressed himself in the same line as his party colleague.
Leisure employers reject Díaz’s proposal

The leisure and entertainment employers’ association, España de Noche, has expressed its rejection of the proposal. “Considering that nightlife is one of our main tourist attractions, the proposal would be shooting ourselves in the foot, benefiting only our competitors in the tourist market by questioning one of our most unique and particular values of the Spanish lifestyle,” the association said in a statement.

Specifically, España de Noche has reiterated that “Spain has the best hospitality, leisure, and nightlife in the world.” “The offer and activity are one of the pillars of Spain being the world’s leading country in vacation tourism, so any experiment that endangers our way of life, our tourist appeal, and the activity of sector companies can only provoke social and business rejection,” it stressed.

Regarding the statements of the Labor Minister, who has indicated that she has already discussed this issue with the sector, the association states that they “have not been part of the contacts announced by the minister.”

Thus, the association believes that the “debate on Spanish schedules can only be approached from a transversal reflection on work schedules, prime-time television, and news and movie schedules, or shopping center hours.”
The Spanish Hospitality Confederation accuses Díaz of “lying”

The president of the Spanish Hospitality Confederation, José Luis Yzuel, has reproached the Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, for “having no idea” and “lying” about the schedules in the hospitality sector.

In statements to news outlet, Efe, Yzuel has assured that all bars in Spain “comply with the law” regarding their schedules and considers the number of restaurants that can be found open at one in the morning as “anecdotal” and “exceptional.”

If there are any, “many” of them have double licenses, he says, so they also serve drinks in addition to food.


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