Spain in GMT+0!

The official timezone in Spain (mainland) is GMT+1. In summer it is GMT+2. This is the same time zone as France, Italy, Germany and the rest of central and eastern Europe.

However, the Iberian peninsula is almost completely within the time zone of GMT+0; that is: the zone centered on longitude 0o, which covers 7o 30′ to the west and east. Not a single little bit of Spanish territory falls on the GMT+1 zone. The Canary Islands are officially in GMT+0, but this is not their natural timezone as per its geographic location. The Canary Islands ought to use GMT-1, its natural timezone.

The map displayed here shows meridian lines separated by 7o 30′, centered aroundspain_gmt0_location the Prime Meridian (Greenwich, in red in this map). 15o around Greenwich (shown in white shading) is the GMT+0 timezone (also known as UTC+0). The next 15o to the west and east of GMT+0 are GMT-1 and GMT+1 respectively (shown in lighter white shading).

For example, Portugal, the U.K. and Ireland officially use GMT+0, which is natural according to their geographic location (Portugal is almost in GMT-1). Spain should also use GMT+0, and the Canary Islands should use GMT-1.

This would result in making better use of natural light, thus making better use of time, which would positively impact public health and the efficiency of workers and companies. The human being is made to be awake during the time of natural light, and to rest during the daily period of darkness.

By officially using GMT+1, the day in Spain is artificially advanced one hour with respect to solar time. Let us suppose the case of someone who wakes up at 7am to go to work at 8am. Effectively, this person is actually waking up at 6am, although at that time there’s still no natural light. There is no reason to artificially introduce this one-hour advancement of the daily

Should Spain use GMT+0, 7am would really be 7am, at which time there would already be natural light, and the human body would not have to operate offset from its natural schedule. If Spain would use GMT+0, we’d be with Portugal (which uses the time zone that matches its location on Earth), Italy (which time zone corresponds to its geographic location, GMT+1), and so many other countries in Europe (and the world).

With this page I hope to make readers aware that Spain is using the wrong time zone, and that it is necessary to change it. Portugal used to officially use GMT+1 as well, but they were right to do something about it, and change to GMT+0. Spain should follow suit.

4 thoughts on “Spain in GMT+0!

  1. Pingback: megaspora (english edition) » Blog Archive » Back to GMT+1, waiting for GMT+0

  2. Smee McPhee

    Actually, Portugal, Spain, UK, Ireland, France and BeNeLux (am I missing any?) should all be on GMT+0

    1. psr

      Of those, only Portugal, Ireland and UK use GMT+0 officially. Spain, France and BeneLux (and Germany, etc…) are oficially in GMT+1. Of course, now (summer time) everyone is +1… to UK is GMT+1 now (BST) and Spain, Benelux, etc… are in GMT+2 (CEST).

  3. Alex

    I was thinking the same thing and wondering why is that I stumbled upon this post. Is the reason for being GMT+1 / +2 known? I mean, I’m from Spain and looking at the maps I can’t actually think a reason for it being in that time zone.

    It would be more understandable for Ireland or Portugal to be in GMT-1 than for us to be in GMT+1.


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