The Med

Missing day for Samoans

Samoans will never see today as the Pacific island switches time zones to help trade with Australia and New Zealand.

Residents will go to bed on Thursday 29 December and wake up on Saturday 31 December.

Guests staying in Samoa's hotels this week were not expected to pay for a day that did not exist, but employers still have to pay workers for the Friday that never was.

The dateline - which runs through the middle of the Pacific - currently runs to the west of the archipelago, meaning that it is 11 hours behind GMT.

The move across the international dateline will take Samoa from being one of the last places to see the sun each day to being among the first.

Samoa claims it loses two working days a week.

On their Friday, it is Saturday for their closest trading nations, Australia and New Zealand and on Samoa"s Sunday, those countries are on a working Monday.

Samoa moved east of the dateline 120 years ago because most of its trade at the time was with the United States and Europe.

By Diane Evans

Friday, December 30, 2011

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