Lebanon’s acting prime minister reverses decision to delay start of daylight saving time
Lebanon’s acting prime minister reversed an unpopular decision by his office to delay the start of daylight saving time by a month, saying on Monday that the Cabinet had decided to implement the change in two days.
Najib Mikati’s comments came after the government’s initial decision earlier this month was widely criticized across the country, with many people, including the country’s largest church, saying they would not respect the ruling.
“The new daylight saving time will start at midnight on Wednesday,” Mikati said after a Cabinet meeting that discussed only the issue.
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While some institutions implemented the change while others refused, many Lebanese found themselves in the position of juggling work and school hours in different time zones – in a country that is only 55 miles at its widest point.
Last week, the government announced it would delay the start of daylight saving time by a month until the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. This has led to mass confusion in a country already experiencing the worst economic and financial crisis in its modern history.
In some cases, the debate has taken on a sectarian nature, with many Christian politicians and institutions, including the small nation’s largest church, the Maronite Church, rejecting the decision.
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The small Mediterranean country normally advances its clocks one hour on the last Sunday in March, which matches most European countries. However, on Thursday the government announced a decision by Mikati to push back the start of daylight saving time to April 21.