The socialist Prime Minister of Spain has ordered his government and advised the public to ditch ties to cope with the heat amid the energy crisis gripping the European Union.
Speaking from Madrid on Friday, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said that he has told government ministers not to wear ties and suggested that the others follow suit in order to save on energy costs and “reduce dependence on the aggressor, Putin, and to flatten the inflation curve”.
“I don’t wear a tie, that means that we can all save from an energy point of view and I have asked all ministers and all public officials. And the private sector, as far as possible, that when it is not necessary they do not use the tie and in this way we will all save,” the socialist leader said per the Heraldo de Aragón newspaper.
Spain, which is one of the hotter countries in the European Union, has been struggling to cope with the energy and subsequent inflationary crisis, with many being plunged into energy poverty this summer.
“We are talking about people not even being able to have the fans going all day long. Maybe they could, but they are afraid of what this would cost at the end of the day in their bills of the month,” Monica Guiteras Blaya of Enginyeria Sense Fronteres (Engineers without Borders Catalonia) told Euronews this week.
Sánchez said in his speech on Friday that his government will be putting forward a series of energy-saving measures on Monday, saying: “Saving energy is everyone’s task and it is a priority.”
The European Union as a whole came to an agreement this week for each member-state to reduce their gas consumption by 15 per cent by March of next year in order to lessen reliance on Russia.
In Germany, one of the countries most reliant on Russian gas despite decades of pursuing so-called green energy alternatives, the city of Hanover announced this week that it would become the first major European city to begin rationing hot water, turning off water heating for public buildings and cutting off warm water in bathrooms and showers in swimming pools and sporting venues.
The city has also cut off the lighting of museums and other public buildings in an attempt to save on energy ahead of expected shortages this winter.
For months, various EU leaders have been calling on their citizens to sacrifice in order to deal with the crisis they claim was manufactured by Russian president Vladimir Putin, while skirting blame themselves for failing to pursue energy independence policies.
Outgoing Italian prime minister Mario Draghi, for example, told his citizens in April that they could choose between “peace or air conditioners“.