MUNICH, GERMANY (AUGUST 31, 2018) (REUTERS) – For clock collector Werner Stechbarth, the debate over whether to end the switch between summer and winter time is about more than an extra hour or two of daylight.
That could be about to end, if the EU responds to the results of a survey which found that most EU citizens were against the switch.
But Stechbarth is not entirely sure if he wants the practice to end.
“At first I was really pleased, I thought it was great. But now I’ve thought it over a bit and actually it was fun changing my 365 clocks,” he told Reuters, adding that it was also a good opportunity to dust his collection.
More than 80 percent of EU citizens want to abolish the EU’s switch and favoured keeping the time used in summer for the whole year, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on German television, adding he would put the plan to a debate among EU commissioners.
Any change would still need approval from national governments and European Parliament to become law.
On the streets of Frankfurt, people were enthusiastic about the prospect of ending the switch.
“Changing the clocks wasn’t that helpful,” Maria Wania said. ‘”We don’t need it.”
Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel weighed in. Speaking on a trip to Nigeria, she said that she hoped the Commission would take the results of the survey seriously.
But Finland, with the most northerly EU national capital, this year called for the EU to halt the practice, which critics say it can cause long-term health problems, especially among young children and elderly people.
Supporters say making the switch to give extra morning daylight in winter and evening light in summer can help reduce traffic accidents and save energy.