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There is a dead end in Europe, so next weekend the clock will turn back.



At dawn on Sunday, European clocks will move back one hour and enter winter time.

This convention, followed in Portugal for about a century, has been questioned in recent years. In the EU, even a proposal is being put forward to stop its following. In the absence of a decision, delayed by the unforeseen circumstances of recent years, the tradition remains.

A dead end with no end in sight

In Europe, the discussion dates back to 2018. The European Commission published a public opinion poll according to which 84% of Europeans are in favor of ending the change of time twice a year.

In 2019, the European Parliament voted to promote the measure. Everything pointed to the fact that the end was inevitable, and everything depended only on negotiations in the European Council. It was predicted that the clocks would be moved for the last time in 2021, but this did not happen.

The European Council considered that this measure lacked an impact assessment and referred the matter to the European Commission. This is where the deadlock begins, which continues to this day. On the official website of the European Parliamentthe measure is “pending the position of the Council in the first reading” and it appears that negotiations have not started yet.

Along the way, other, more pressing issues have emerged, on which European efforts have focused, from Brexit to the pandemic and, more recently, to war. However, due to the upcoming European elections, the proposal may no longer have the necessary consensus, and it is not clear when this issue will return to the Council’s agenda.

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A solution for everyone will be very difficult to find

Apart from the legislative process, the practical contours of this measure will require careful discussion.

IImplementing a single measure will be difficult as it will mean more hours of sunshine for some and less for others. On the other hand, allowing each country to choose its own time (without reference to geographic location or current time zones) can lead to huge chaos. From Europe with three time zones, we could potentially have many national timetables.

Even harmonizing schedules with neighboring countries can be problematic. For example, with the UK leaving the EU, such a measure could mean different timetables in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

In addition, there are still countries, such as Portugal and Greece, who intend to keep the time change twice a year, because they believe that the constant change to daylight saving time or winter time will not bring benefits.

But where did the time change come from then?

The first local experiments in which time change was agreed upon date back to the 18th century, but the first official time change occurred in the 20th century. In 1916, due to hostilities, the German Empire changed the time in order to adjust working hours to the sundial and thus save coal. This measure was followed by other European countries, including Portugal.

Over the course of the century, a variant of this timetable has changed over time and between countries.

Currently all European countries (except Iceland) follow EU Decree of 2000 which synchronized the changes in European time to ensure consistency within the single market. Thus, it was found that changes occur in last Sunday in October (one hour behind) and last Sunday in March (one hour ahead).

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Europe, however, is on the side of the minority, which still keeps the changes between summer and winter. According to Statistica, only 40% have made changes in 2021. But this was not always the case, as at some point in their history, more than 140 countries had seasonal schedules.

In addition to Europe, winter time is preserved in the United States (with the exception of the states of Arizona and Hawaii). This may change soon. In an unusual consensus, the US Congress approved on March 15 The sun protection law, which aims to abolish the change of time. The plan is to have clocks in the US reset for the last time next year, but the measure has yet to pass the House of Representatives or be passed by the president.

Why change now?

The initial argument in favor of the schedule was energy savings. However, research on this is inconclusive or shows residual savings. The energy saved at the end of the day seems to be offset by the energy wasted in the early morning when, for example, we need to turn on the light to get ready to leave the house.

At present, the protection of winter time is mainly associated with the idea of ​​having more light in the morning, especially for children in schools and farmers in the fields.

However, the number of arguments in favor of ending temporary changes has increased. Over the years, there have been several studies linking wintertime to various harmful effects, from a decrease in labor productivity to an increase in heart attacks, street crime and traffic accidents.

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Depending on the latitude, the change in time may dictate that night falls in the middle of the day in many cities and towns during the cold season. This is when, in terms of trade, later twilight is associated with higher consumption.

In recent years, the argument based on human biology has also gained weight. new evidence scientific studies have emerged that show that about half of our genes are regulated by some kind of biological clock (circadian rhythm, functions that the body repeats in cycles of about 24 hours and which are also influenced by external stimuli).

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Zelensky considers the ceiling set by the EU for Russian oil insufficient



President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky this Saturday considered limiting the price of a barrel of Russian oil to $60 insufficient, as he does not consider it a “serious decision”, and Kyiv offered a price two times lower.

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Spain: it is already known where the trap envelopes were sent



The Spanish police claim that six trap parcels that arrived at diplomatic missions and ministries were sent from the city of Valladolid.

Despite the established origin, the authorities still don’t know who’s to blamesince the letters will be placed in regular mailboxes.

The first evidence of the investigation is related to only one of the six packages was able to be deactivated without damage🇧🇷 These are homemade devices with powder charges. The police managed to carry out controlled explosions in four devices.

In the period from November 24 to December 2, parcels with pyrotechnic materials arrived at the diplomatic missions of Ukraine and the United States, the Ministry of Defense and in the office of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

Meanwhile, the security of public buildings, government and embassies strengthens🇧🇷 Despite the written bombs sent out, the authorities decided that it was not worth raising the level of terrorist threat.

On Friday, Spain’s interior minister recommended to the European Commission and partner countries take action if they received such trap letters with the recognition of their possible attitude towards the war in Ukraine.

The advice was accepted by Portuguese diplomacy, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent Portuguese embassies to increase caution when receiving mail.

The MNE of Portugal acknowledged that a circular with recommendations was sent to the Portuguese missions and embassies, but chose not to give further details about the proceduresciting security concerns.

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Qatar treats Santos Silva better than Marcelo



Joao Sena

In Doha, Augusto Santos Silva guaranteed that there would be no problems between Portugal and Qatar. “The two countries have tense diplomatic relations. Qatar is one of the Gulf states where we have a permanent ambassador and it is a strategic region for us,” said the second representative of the Portuguese state. And he also mentioned that there are several points that “should not be forgotten” in order to maintain good bilateral relations. Referring to his experience as Minister of Foreign Affairs, he recalled two facts: “First, it is that, unfortunately, the former Portuguese Ambassador to Qatar, Ricardo Prachana, died in office and the support provided by the Qatari authorities was unsurpassed. (…) Second fact [foi] when we had to remove dozens of people from Afghanistan, namely Afghans who collaborated with the Portuguese armed forces, in a very difficult operation. We did this because we had Pakistan’s support on the ground route and Qatar’s support on the air route.” Santos Silva’s agreement with the Qatari authorities goes even further when he praises “the very clear position that Qatar has taken in the United Nations General Assembly condemning the war against Ukraine and the importance of the geopolitical and geo-economic perspective that this region has in the world today.”

moderate speech pleases

Santos Silva’s statements clearly show more cordiality compared to the speeches of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and António Costa (the so-called “hostile”), as well as the subsequent human rights narrative that has rattled the Qatari government to, as reported by Nascer do SOL in its latest issue, admitting that he blacklisted the country as soon as the World Cup is over, the same is happening with Germany, Denmark and France, which have followed the same type of discourse.

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Diplomatic efforts by Santos Silva appear to have helped mitigate the damage caused by the statements of Marcelo Rebelo de Souza, who at the Doha conference refocused on human rights violations, knowing that previous statements were considered “hostile”. ‘ by the Government of Qatar. The diplomatic corps immediately took action at the Palacio das Necessidades and in Doha to prevent the situation from escalating. A Portuguese delegation was sent to Qatar to ensure that Santos Silva’s trip would not bring more problems to Portugal and that the diplomatic calculation would have no repercussions.

In addition to his presence at the stadium to watch Portugal play, the President of the Assembly of the Republic met with the Qatari authorities, where “all matters of interest to both Portugal and Qatar” were considered. Homework was done well and Santos Silva was awarded state awards. He was met at the airport by Deputy Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and stayed at a hotel reserved exclusively for heads of state (instead of the Banyan Tree Hotel reserved for vice presidents and chairmen of parliaments). an attitude very different from that given to the President of the Republic during his visit to Qatar, as he was received by the daughter of the Sheikh of the Emirate, who was at the stadium in her private box without receiving the Portuguese head. The Qataris seem to know how to forgive but not forget.

Western hypocrisy

On the subject of human rights in Qatar, Angelo Correia, a former interior minister (de Cavaco Silva), believes this is “hypocrisy and a Western superiority complex.” Speaking to Nascer do SOL, the analyst and political commentator added that the West is “punishing itself for its past mistakes regarding the barbaric colonization of some countries in this region, while at the same time assuming the supremacy of the present as if nothing had happened in the past. In Europe there is a contradiction between sinning excess in this matter and showing superiority over those who are not yet on their way. This is an ambiguous, pompous and contradictory attitude.” But the political class is also responsible: “Portugal’s position towards Qatar left much to be desired in some circumstances, and some people and some parties showed a certain opportunism. There are currently two problems that elude the Portuguese democratic reality: the lack of memory and then the strong agitation for political correctness.”

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Relations between Portugal and Qatar have entered a less tense phase and the presence of Ana Catarina Méndez, Deputy Minister for Parliamentary Affairs who replaced the Prime Minister, who canceled her trip for health reasons, in yesterday’s game in which Portugal lost to South Korea (1-2) an example of this. “This is the day we should all unite with the colors of Portugal, the colors of an open, modern and inclusive society that I am proud to represent,” he told Lusa.

António Costa is expected to go to the Round of 16 game on Tuesday and if the national team continues to compete, with Santos Silva reaching the quarter-finals and Marcelo Rebelo de Souza reaching the semi-finals, then… But one thing is for sure: an agreement is needed. official discourse so that the country is not blacklisted by the emirate.

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