Clock change orgy of 1996-10-27

Peter Ilieve peter at
Sat Nov 2 14:06:04 UTC 1996

On Nov 2,  4:43am, Chris Carrier wrote:
> [I wrote:]
> >At least we are making progress here on the cooperation front,
> >at least until the French upset things by suggesting they would scrap
> >the whole idea.
> What is the status on that?

I don't really know at present. There was a report in the Independent (a
UK `quality' paper which is unfortunately only available on the Internet
via AOL, and possibly only European AOL at that) on 25 October that at
least acknowledged that France would have to consult with the rest of the
EU about it.

It said that `Paris would ask Brussels' meaning ask the EC Commission to
be exempted from the Summer Time Directive as soon as possible, either
next year or 1998. If it goes into 1998 it will be the eighth Directive
which is not yet finalised. I have asked my usual contact at the Commission's
Edinburgh office but she can't say much about the state of this new
Directive. The Commission has produced a proposal which continues the
current rules for 1998--2001. It is now the Council of Ministers' turn
to reach a common postion, and then approve that as a Directive. They
haven't shown much inclination so far and my contact points out that
she can only speak for the Commission, not the Council. The new Directive
is supposed to be approved by 1 Jan 97 but I think that is vanishingly
unlikely even without this new French move.

The Independent report said:

`After three months of discussion and two parliamentary reports, it is
clear that France intends to rid itself of a device that its experts
say no longer saves fuel or manpower, upsets farmers, reduces milk
yields by almost one-third and disrupts children's body-clocks.'

Polls show 70% of people against changing the clocks, but an even split
on the question of which time to use all the year round. Farmers and
families with children favour permanent summer time (UTC+2), business
and transport organisations favour winter time (UTC+1). The French Senate
said winter time would be a good compromise with the rest of the EU,
obviously assuming it continues to change its clocks, as France would
have the same time as the UK in the Summer and the same as Germany in the

Can any French reader of this list give any references to the two
official reports, possibly even a quick summary?

Don't be too surprised about the importance given to milk yields. Cattle
are an important determinant of EU policy, as witnessed by the current
BSE row. :-)

		Peter Ilieve		peter at

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