MADRID (AP) — Spain's leader has proposed an energy-saving move that many men have already embraced.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has asked government officials and people working in the private sector to save energy by giving up wearing neckties at work.
Appearing at a news conference in an open-necked white shirt and blue jacket, Sánchez explained he had dressed less formally not as a nod to the casual Friday custom but to curb utility use — presumably air-conditioning, but he did not spell that out.
“I´d like you to note that I am not wearing a tie. That means that we can all make savings from an energy point of view," the prime minister said at the news conference called to summarize his government’s annual performance.
He said he encouraged his ministers and public officials, "that if not necessary, don’t use a tie.”
Spain has sweltered for more than a month, with temperatures in parts of the country often surpassing 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). The government has urged people to reduce electricity costs by not overusing air conditioning.
Rising energy costs for households and businesses in Spain has been a major issue in recent months, especially since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February. Sánchez said the government would present a new energy-saving plan next week, but he gave no details.
He said the plan was designed to cut utility bills and to reduce energy dependency on “the aggressor, (Russian President Vladimir) Putin."
In June, Spain approved economic relief measures worth more than 9 billion euros ($9,2 billion), including reductions in electricity taxes and a one-time payment of 200 euros ($200) for people with low-incomes.
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