Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has urged public and private sector workers to stop wearing ties to save energy amid the scorching heat.
The Prime Minister’s call comes as a gas crisis threatens the European Union and as part of an effort to become less dependent on Russian gas following the war in Ukraine.
Temperatures reached 36°C in Madrid and 39°C in Seville on Friday, as Europe has seen record high temperatures in recent weeks.
Speaking at a press conference in Madrid, Mr Sanchez stressed he was not wearing a tie and said he wanted his ministers and staff to do the same to stay cool.
“I would like you all to note that I am not wearing a tie,” he said. “That means we can all save from an energy perspective.”
He added: “I have asked ministers, all civil servants, and I would like to ask the private sector too, if they have not already done so, not to wear a tie when it is not necessary because in this way we will be faced with the energy savings that are so important in our country.
Mr Sanchez said his government would adopt “urgent” measures on Monday to improve efficiency and energy saving “in line with what other European countries are doing”.
His plan aims to keep people cool and therefore reduce energy costs because air conditioners will be used less often.
In 2012, Japan also adopted similar measures. The country launched its “Super Cool Biz” campaign encouraging office workers to wear cooler clothes in the summer.
In the UK, politicians have been told they can ditch their suit jackets while in the House of Commons during the recent heat wave.
Spain has encouraged remote working and has limited air conditioning in offices in summer and heating in winter to save energy.
Mr Sanchez said a new energy-saving decree would be introduced on Monday. Part of the plan includes a measure to encourage businesses to keep their doors closed where possible, to prevent air conditioning from leaking out.
In May, the European Commission published a 210 billion euro (£176 billion) plan to boost renewables and reduce energy consumption, as well as European countries’ reliance on Russian gas.
Germany, one of the countries expected to be hardest hit by Russian energy supply cuts, has announced that it will put in place a series of measures – Hannover, in the north of the country, will only offer cold showers in public swimming pools and sports centres.
The Independent Gt