Tuesday

27th Sep 2016

Romanians and Greeks work the hardest in Europe

  • Bucharest: Romanians came top, amid British rhetoric on 'welfare tourism' (Photo: Nico Trinkhaus)

A new study has defied stereotypes by showing that Romanian and Greek people are among the hardest working in Europe.

The survey, by Coe-Rexecode, a Paris-based research institute, looked at “real” working hours in each EU state in the past four years - the amount of time spent actually at work, as opposed to nominal hours, which include absences due to sick leave, childcare, holidays, strikes, or commuting time.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

It found that in 2013, Romanian full-time employees worked 2,099 hours - the highest figure in Europe.

Greeks came second, followed by Hungarians, Bulgarians and Croatians, Poles, Latvians, Slovaks, Estonians, and Cypriots.

At the other end, Finnish (1,648) and French (1,661) people worked the least, followed by Swedes, Danes, and Belgians. Italian, Spanish, and Dutch people scored low. British and German workers were middle of the road.

The trend between 2010 and 2013 showed falls in Britain, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, and Sweden.

But hours went up in Spain, the Netherlands, and Portugal.

The numbers go against a stereotype which emerged in the EU financial crisis - of virtuous northern states versus lazy southern countries who want bailouts.

With Romania and Bulgaria at the top end, they also challenge British anti-immigrant rhetoric on "welfare tourism" linked to the lifting of labour restrictions on the two countries in January.

Drilling into France, Coe-Rexecode noted that French people in the industrial and construction sectors worked the least, while people in the agricultural sector worked the most.

Compared to Germany, the EU’s economic success story of recent years, French agricultural and construction workers put in far fewer hours.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. GoogleDid You Know Europe's Largest Dinosaur Gallery Is in Brussels? Check It Out Now
  2. IPHRHuman Rights in Uzbekistan After Karimov - Joint Statement
  3. CISPECloud Infrastructure Providers Unveil Data Protection Code of Conduct
  4. EFAMessages of Hope From the Basque Country and Galicia
  5. Access NowDigital Rights Heroes and Villains. See Who Protects Your Rights, Who Wants to Take Them Away
  6. Martens CentreQuo Vadis Georgia? What to Expect From the Parliamentary Elections. Debate on 29 September
  7. EJCAppalled by Recommendation to Remove Hamas From EU Terrorism Watch List
  8. GoogleBringing Education to Refugees in Lebanon With the Clooney Foundation for Justice
  9. HuaweiAn Industry-leading ICT Solution Provider and Building a Better World
  10. World VisionUN Refugees Meeting a Wasted Opportunity to Improve the Lives of Millions of Children
  11. Belgrade Security ForumCan Democracy Survive Global Disorder?
  12. GoogleTrimming the Waste-Line: Weaving Circular Economy Principles Into Our Operations