The Spanish Government has ordered the people of its capital, Madrid, to go to bed earlier.
The Spanish Government has ordered the people of its capital, Madrid, to go to bed earlier. The Ministry of the Interior hopes this move will help Spain fight the energy crisis which is threatening all western economies.
The Ministry has told cinemas to close not later than 1215, restaurants to close before 0100, bars and cafes ??? 0130 and night clubs to put up their shutters by 0300.
To most northern Europeans -- and, indeed, most city dwellers in the world -- these measures do not seem too severe. But to the 'Madridlenos', who are normally getting ready to go out to dinner when their other European cousins are going to bed, the government move has come as a shock.
The new closing times have cut at least an hour off the city's usual night life. In good weather families with small children can be seen strolling down the Gran Via (the main street) at 0100. But, from Sunday night (26 January), it's early to bed for the people of Madrid.