No, the Greeks Aren’t Lazy. The Germans Are.
A lot of people out there seem to have the notion that Greece’s troubles are the result of laziness.
That really doesn’t seem to be true. OECD:
Average annual hours actually worked per worker 2000-2010
And no, labor force participation is not wildly different: 55% in Greece, 60% in Germany.
To quote my friend Katherine: “It’s those goddam hyper-efficient Germans with their ‘work smart not hard’ screwing things up for the rest of us.”
Tongue in cheek there, of course, but it does seem to be German productivity in a single-currency regime that makes it impossible for Greek banks to stay solvent.
And it’s not that Greek bankers, politicians, or workers are lazy. No matter how hard they work, the financial system doesn’t seem to make it possible for them to live a lifestyle in which they crush their grapes with their childrens’ feet. No matter how much they want the “liberty” to live that lifestyle.
Cross-posted at Asymptosis.
It actually takes initiative, planning, inventiveness to be efficient and productive. So yes this actually does prove the Greek’s are lazy (or just plain incompetant), becuase they are not putting in efforts to become better at doing things. Their governmnet is woefully inefficient, and stinks at providing services.
Steve, those Greek numbers are absurd. I remember how hard it was to work–actually work–over 2000 hours a year. People do not do that on any scale, and most people cannot do that for very many years.
As Tom Walker and perhaps the economist Chapman might suggest from looking at hours worked and particiation rate in Germany, they are putting more of the population to work by having the workers work fewer hours. Hard to say much without more data and research. It is a fact, the German workers have contracts which are renewed and they have large amounts of time off.
Germans are great at everything, right? they have the world by the balls, I guess God must have them superior, there is no other explanation. Didn’t they want to take over the entire world some time ago until everyone kicked their butts in 2 world wars? They are a peace loving humanitarian bunch that knows what’s best for everyone. We should be greatful and bow down to them for allowing us to have them take care of us and coexist with them.
Ehm… wow… useless. Take a look at a real rsearch: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17155304
Hey Cris K Jul!!
I guess throwing the world war II card at Germans is the solution for everything!!Guess what most people who participated in WW2 are dead now!!
Well the world works like that be competitive, smart and innovative and have a high living standard or develop into a third world country.
Thats the way it goes. If you dont like it you should move to another planet.
Steve, you are full of crap. I have been working in Germany for 6 years and never had a full time job that only required 1360 hours per year. Wherever the OCED got those figures (probably their butts) I am not certain, but I could offer a logical explaination. In Germany, when you do work, there is absolutely no slacking off. None period. There is no ciesta, no nap time, you have 30 minutes break and that is it. In an effort to reform, Germany has forced a lot of people into the work force who would otherwise be either a) unemployable or b) be career welfare recipients. They are called “mini job”. They count as employment and one only works about 10 hours per week. This would skew the statistics. I know the Greeks don’t have anything like this because Germany is the only European country with a mini job program which is similar to the American “workfare” program. So you just lied on behalf of a lazy indebted people who are looking for any excuse to explain away their malfeasance. FYI. I work in the public sector. I work for hours per week or more. Do the math. That comes to about 1800 hours per year counting vacation. Those in the private sector work 50 or more hours. Your figures about the labor force participation is pure bullocks. Germany has 6.6 % unemployment while the Greeks have over 20% unemployment. So no the labor force participation rate is not in any way similar. Finally the reason why the Germans and I as a German taxpayer are so pissed off. The Greeks are entitled to retire at age 50!!! 50! In Germany we retire at 67. If I return to my native United States I will retire at 70. If the Greeks could pay their own way, I would say why not, retire at 50, but they can’t. With the debt they have, they sure as hell can’t afford a shrinking tax base. What the Greeks need is my boot up their lazy asses!
A 21012 post you are answering?
I work 40 hours per week
What i have understood through the comments here and makes me sad is that German behaviour will never change unfortunately They have the xact same behaviour like world war II. But to make things easier for you. It is true that in Germany te society is changing most of the people are more friendly but it is funny that they are blood thirst. I have my own hotel in Greece which for a two star travelling all over Europe the services cleaning and room is quite out of the competition for any othe european country. Guess which nationality complains about everything? Germans when every other nationality gives you a rate of 9 or 10 a German gives you 4. When an english person asks may i have a beer please and says 10 times thank you a German demands. Now its true tat we had innefficiancy problems and a lot more people in the public sector because that was the political system here which slowly is changing slowly everybody gives receipts and so on.. But guess what problem is that Germans would love to have a greek person working for them for 10 euros per day treating them like kings when they expect to get pay full price for their corrupted company products such as Siemens BMW and so on. The whole conversation is WRONG. We are different cultures different people, Germans will never appreciate Democracy lifestyle wine olives god freedom smle sea laugh and we Greeks will never like to experience better organization , because organization means slavery! About the working hours as i have also an employment agency please do not discuss about that as the rest of Europeans compared to Greeks you are little cats you cant work more than 8 hours per day with your breaks in between and your fags and coffees while a Greek has to work average 10 hours per day 7 days a week 🙂 The inneficency is not because we do not know what to give to people is becase we did not know the word marketing , Since Russians started coming in Greece for holidays the prices doubled up for every nationality because of competition and that improved the efficiency! The rest of you that you are talking out of your butts i have a boot as well my fellow German!
I am a Greek Canadian. I lived and worked in Greece 8 years and for the last 2 years I am living and working in germany. Greeks in Greece are not lazy. Most have poor work ethics. Greeks in Germany however, are some of the hardest workers I ever mer. Probably because in Germany a foreigner has to work twice as hard to be acknowledged. Germans however are lazy. I am only speaking by my own personal experience. Where I work most are smoking and chit chatting and when we got to work, they are all over the place not knowing what they are doing. And yes I work 230 hours a month as opposed to the 180 hours a German here works. So yeah…..