Friday

25th May 2018

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.

Merkel under fire for 'lazy Greeks' comment

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has come under fire at home and abroad for suggesting that people in Greece, Portugal and Spain take too many holidays and retire too early.

Feature

Resetting the gender balance through football

Many sports, like football, have been so heavily male-dominated at every level that women and girls have battled against poor odds to be treated as equals in the game. FIFA aims to change that.

Opinion

Paying a high cost: EU's role in Spain's painful health cuts

The EU should either conduct, or ask states to conduct, human rights impact assessments of country-specific recommendations to ensure that the implementation of austerity measures does not result in reduced human rights protections.

News in Brief

  1. Italy set to pick eurosceptic finance minister
  2. UK foreign minister fooled by Russian pranksters
  3. Rajoy ally gets 33 years in jail for corruption
  4. Close race as polls open in Irish abortion referendum
  5. Gazprom accepts EU conditions on gas supplies
  6. Facebook tells MEPs: non-users are not profiled
  7. Commission proposes ending France deficit procedure
  8. UK households hit with Brexit income loss

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceEuropean Ombudsman requests more lending transparency from European Investment Bank
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersOECD Report: Gender Equality Boosts GDP Growth in Nordic Region
  3. Centre Maurits Coppieters“Peace and reconciliation is a process that takes decades” Dr. Anthony Soares on #Brexit and Northern Ireland
  4. Mission of China to the EUMEPs Positive on China’s New Measures of Opening Up
  5. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOld White Men are Destroying Macedonia by Romanticizing Greece
  6. Counter BalanceControversial EIB-Backed Project Under Fire at European Parliament
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersIncome Inequality Increasing in Nordic Countries
  8. European Jewish CongressEU Leaders to Cease Contact with Mahmoud Abbas Until He Apologizes for Antisemitic Comments
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual Report celebrates organization’s tenth anniversary
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Cooperation Needed on Green Exports and Funding
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li Confirms China Will Continue to Open Up
  12. European Jewish CongressCalls on Brussels University to Revoke Decision to Honour Ken Loach