Contrary To What Most People Think, Greeks Work The Longest Hours In Europe [Infographic]
Amidst the financial crisis, ordinary Greeks have earned the unflattering reputation as over-paid and lazy workers who retire far too early. This week, eurozone finance ministers reprimanded Greece for dragging its heels in the two weeks since they reached an agreement on extending the country’s bailout, which did not help. However, contrary to what most people think, Greeks actually work the longest hours in Europe.
Data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development shows that workers in Greece put in an average weekly shift of 42 hours, even more than Germans who only manage 35.3. Some experts claim this is due to the nature of the work in Greece – people put in long hours in the agricultural sector and shops that stay open late. It does not necessarily have anything to do with efficiency.
Interestingly, other countries badly effected by the economic crisis, such as Portugal and Spain, also rank high in the hours-worked list, coming second and third respectively. What about the stereotype that Greeks retire ridiculously early? The average retirement age is 57.8 in Greece. While this is low in comparison to other EU countries, it is not the lowest and margins are very thin – people in the UK retire aged 58.3 on average.