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10,000 sign against daylight saving time

The number of signatures under the online petition at public initiative portal manabalss.lv against switching to daylight saving time (DST) or summer time in spring and then back again in fall has reached 10,000. That is the minimum threshold for submitting the proposal to the Latvian parliament as a collective legislative initiative. 

The petition was published on manabalss.lv two years ago and has now been signed by 10,000 people, just as Latvia is about to make another switch to DST by turning clocks one hour back.

"Turning clocks from winter to summer time and back interferes with the biological rhythm of people, mostly small children, elderly people and people with chronic diseases,” the authors of the initiative said, suggesting that dropping the practice would spare the Latvian public lots of unnecessary stress.

They propose that Latvia should switch from UTC+2 (GMT+2) time zone to UTC+3 (GMT+3) time zone and then stop the semi-annual turning of clocks back and forward.

Latvia made its first transition to DST in 1981. Since the summer of 1997, Latvia shifts to DST on the last Sunday of March and back on the last Sunday of October.

According to the information published on the website of the Latvian Economics Ministry, Latvia will turn clocks one hour back at 4 a.m. on Sunday, October 25, to switch to winter time. The next switch to summer time will be made on March 27, 2016, when the clocks in Latvia will be turned one hour forward.

Each initiative that gains at least 10,000 valid votes will be reviewed in Saeima. Previous initiatives at manabalss.lv include everything from a marijuana decriminalization campaign (failed) to upping the speed limit at which photo radars photograph the car (succeeded).

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