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Germans don’t work as hard or intensely as Southern Europeans

Wednesday, June 8th 2011 - 02:12 UTC
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Southern Europeans work more and longer than Germans revealed a study discarding recent comments made by Chancellor Angela Merkel arguing that workers in debt-mired Greece, Spain and Portugal are lazy.

A statistics-based report published by French bank Natixis chief economist Patrick Artus said Germans worked less annually and during their lifetime than Southern Europeans, and did not work more intensely than their neighbours either.

The study, based on OECD and Eurostat figures, said a German's average annual work duration (1,390 hours) was substantially lower than for a Greek (2,119), an Italian (1,773) a Portuguese (1,719) and a Spaniard (1,654).

A French person works 1,554 hours per year, said the study which was released last week.

“Germany's productivity per head remains close to the average of southern European countries. Its hourly productivity rate is above average but not better than France or Greece,” the study added.

Although the legal retirement age is older in Germany -- currently 65 years set to rise to 67 -- the Portuguese and Spanish work longer. Their real retirement ages are 62.6 and 62.3 respectively, against 62.2 for Germans.

The real retirement age for Greeks is 61.5 but that is expected to rise to 63.5 by 2015 following government's austerity program to rise the legal retirement age to 65 from 60.

Only the French (60 years) and the Italians (60.1) currently retire two years earlier on average than the Germans, the study also said.

Furthermore the percentage of German workers with higher education is not more than in France, Spain or Greece, although Portugal and Italy have a “serious education disadvantage”. The rate of unemployment of unqualified labour in Germany is higher than in Southern Europe countries.

Last month Merkel hinted that southern Europeans take too much holiday and retire too early, sparking outrage across the continent.

“In countries such as Greece, Spain and Portugal, people should not retire earlier than in Germany. Everyone should make similar efforts a little bit more. It's important,” she said.

Artus, the author of the Natixis report wrote: ”Angela Merkel does not show the real problems of the southern countries of the Euro-zone”, since the true difference in their economies with Germany, are the German innovation capacity and savings rates.

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • yul

    I saw Southern France,Spain,Italy,Greece,Turkey..except Portugal
    Spaniard .... somewhat lazy...(smooth)

    Italians..... swift on pretend to working..(inefficient)

    Southern 10 cm above grounds..(looks strange)

    Greeks...have no working areas ...( retired born)

    Turks...always last minute actioners...( quickly bored)

    Portuguese..i heard that they are exigent..
    Dutchs....well robotic/mechanic.

    British ..are not understood who work or not work.
    Russians...probably work to warm up accompanied by vodka.

    American...already debt porters...have to work.
    It is very hard to compete with Chinese and Koreans.
    as if,they born by social organization genetic codes have...

    Jun 08th, 2011 - 09:28 am 0
  • GeoffWard

    We must therefore look for *reasons* why Germany is top-dog, and Greece is a basket-case.

    If you are happy to do the same thing for 40 years there is unlikely to be much development (of GDPPP) and, unless your 40 years is 40 years of innovation, the world does not move for you or for your country.

    Aspiration is everything, supplemented by the facilitation of personal advancement rewarding aspiratory achievement.

    This is a synergistic model, it is not an 'ant-like' paradigm.

    To contribute to and/or lead innovation to be
    best in the section,
    best in the factory,
    best in the competitor group,
    best in the country,
    best in the competitor group in the trading bloc/world
    moves the individual and everything he/she touches to dominate the sector, to define the product-range characteristics, and to take maximum available profits.

    A, +A, +A, +A . . . . . (for 40 years) is merely additive;
    Germany has succeeded with performance multipliers.
    Synergy is everything.

    Jun 08th, 2011 - 09:02 pm 0
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