Sun goes down on opponents of Daylight Saving Time

Switzerland introduced Daylight Saving Time in 1981. © Keystone / Christian Beutler

Plans for a nationwide vote aimed at abolishing Daylight Saving Time in Switzerland have failed after campaigners gave up efforts for their people’s initiative.

This content was published on October 21, 2020 - 11:29

A spokeswoman for the initiative group said they collected less than 50,000 signatures over the past 16 months and there was no chance of reaching the 100,000 signatures necessary before the deadline of December 20.

“Citizens seem to have other priorities at the moment,” Yvette Estermann told the Swiss news agency Keystone-SDA on Tuesday.

The parliamentarian of the conservative right Swiss People’s Party was referring to the Covid-19 pandemic. She said she hoped that efforts in neighbouring countries to do away with a changing of the clocks twice a year would continue, keeping up the pressure on the Swiss government.

Switzerland introduced Daylight Saving Time in 1981 in spite of voters’ rejection of the proposal at the ballot box three years before.

Clocks fall back one hour this Sunday and will spring forward one hour next March in line with Central European Time.

Money for consumers

In another development, a committee on Tuesday started collecting signatures for a proposal to give CHF7,500 ($8,260) to every Swiss citizen.

The tax-free hand-out is to come from the National Bank in a bid to boost consumer spending, according to the campaigners.

They have until April 2022 to collect the necessary signatures for a possible nationwide vote.

There are currently 13 other people’s initiatives underway at the signature collecting stage – but four of them have failed to clear this initial hurdle.

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