Germans work less than Spaniards and retire earlier


You know what is coming: plenty of stereotypes about Spain:

  • Earlier this week we had the viral explosion of a video-parody about office workers in Madrid. From Sweden, the country with more legal holidays in Europe after the Netherlands. The soundtrack of the video is complete with “Olés” in the background.
  • Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor of the day, criticised the early retirements and many days of holidays in Spain and other Mediterranean countries.

Interestingly, official statistics show that Germans work less hours than Spaniards. the number of legal and average days off per Spanish employee is lower than per German worker. The legal average retirement in Germany and Spain is identical and pushed recently in both countries from 65 to 67 years. She is riding on the wave of the official discomfort to the announcement of plan by Telefonica ealier this month to offer early retirements to thousands of its employees in Spain.

Mrs Merkel launched this tirade against Spain and other Mediterranean countries at an event of the Christian Democrats party in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. She is following a text book strategy: feed the anxiety of your voting constituents with populism and pose as a grand chief of state with a global vision at international summits.

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