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Spain limits air conditioning in public buildings, transport, and shopping malls to 27 degrees in summer and 19 in winter

Government also greenlights first draft of new declassifying documents legislation

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02 August 2022 11:34 AM

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ACN | Madrid

The Spanish government greenlighted limiting indoor temperatures during summer and winter in public buildings, transport, hotels, stores, and shopping malls to 19 degrees in winter and 27 degrees in summer.

The measure will be in place until November 1, 2023, as it was announced on Monday night by the central government, and will start one week after being published in the Spanish official gazette.

The limit is part of several urgent measures in place to save energy and improve efficiency, especially after Russian gas supplies could be blocked unexpectedly. Energy prices have been constantly rising since the start of the war in Ukraine, driving inflation to all-time highs.

Stores will also have to switch off lights in their shop windows by 10 pm, as well as public buildings, which will be switched off if not being used. Fines are expected for those not obeying the new legislation, but authorities have not yet determined the amount.

The new energy-saving measures also expect buildings to have automatic doors before September 30, in a move to avoid wasting power.

Regarding renewable energy, the government called for a new auction with 3,300 MW available to come from wind and solar-generated energy.

Declassifying documents legislation

Before going on summer break, the Spanish cabinet also approved a draft of the new classified information legislation. The new law will establish a maximum of 50 years to declassify documents, which could be extended by 15 more years. 

According to the new norm, state secrets will be divided into four categories: high secret, secret, confidential, and restricted. Years to declassify these files will range from four, for restricted access ones, to 50 for high secret ones. Secrets will be kept for 40 years, possible extension of 10 more years, confidential between seven and 10 years, and restricted between four and six years.

Currently, the law in place, which dates back to 1968 approved under Spanish dictator Franco’s regime, does not set any deadline to release secrets.

This is legislation that "overtakes a Francoist legacy," Spanish presidency minister Félix Bolaños said on Monday night during a press conference. 

The law will allow for any directly affected person to ask for the documents to be declassified, and in the case of a rejection, to present an appeal to the Spanish Supreme Court.

Declassifying documents is nothing new, as the Spanish government has already announced they will deliver all necessary documents in the Catalangate espionage scandal.

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  • A shopping center in Barcelona's Plaça de Catalunya square (by Joan Tomàs)

  • A shopping center in Barcelona's Plaça de Catalunya square (by Joan Tomàs)

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