Spain’s major cities awoke to a series of protests yesterday evening following the announcement that controversial Nordic-style day-shift working was to be introduced in an attempt to enable Spain to earn its way out of its current economic malaise.
While the business community welcomed the move, saying that the new practices could double productivity overday, civil rights campaigners said that the new 2 pm to 6 pm shift would disrupt the sleeping patterns and life-work-life-life balance of millions.
Announcing the new measures in a two hour speech beginning at midday, Prime Minister Rajoy said that in a further initiative, Spain’s banks, whose outlets dominate the country’s high streets in a way rivalled only by charity shops in Britain, would close all their branches immediately.
Mr Rajoy said that the premises would be used instead for much-needed tapas bars and fridge magnet shops. While accepting that the new shops would make little or no money, he pointed out that this was a level of performance the banks could only dream of. The news prompted fears of a walk on the banks, but the problem was averted when account holders decided to leave it till tomorrow to withdraw their cash.
Fears that France would be dragged into a series of similar moves and protests were averted when it was discovered that no one there had been aware of Mr Rajoy’s speech because it had taken place during lunch hour.
Although French news bulletins later picked up the story, the expected long and heated debate failed to materialise when it was discovered that the major TV channels had already carried 48 hours of aimless philosophical discussion in the week and were forbidden by the Waffling Time Directive from continuing further.