Those Lazy Greeks

Or, not.

From the Guardian:


Sadly, it’s not quite as simple as that.

From the BBC:

Greeks are working longer and harder than anyone else in Europe. But they’re still producing less than many other nations who are working a lot less hard. The OECD suggest that this is due to the shape of the Greek labour market:

Pascal Marianna, who is a labour markets statistician at the OECD says: “The Greek labour market is composed of a large number of people who are self-employed, meaning farmers and – on the other hand – shop-keepers who are working long hours.”

Still, I think it’s high time we put the lazy Greek myth to bed, because the evidence just doesn’t support it.

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14 thoughts on “Those Lazy Greeks

  1. So they’re not really productive as I mentioned yesterday? Forgive me, I’m still a beginner I can’t really speak numbers I’m still building my economics infrastructure.

  2. The Greeks spend extra time at work chatting. My old friend Harry the Greek
    Who was my office mate at Keele used to subject me to
    Hours of his noisy phone calls.

    • It is very easy to blame the Mediterraneans position on cultural stereotypes.

      The truth is, many of the problems are a result of easy money flowing into these countries after the Euro was introduced, resulting in unsustainable bubbles:

  3. From my Greek friends, the real problem is Government employment and nepotism. Because of this, anybody who earns an income tries to avoid taxes.

    I think the public will have to rise up and abolish Government roles. The gap will have to be taken up by business friendly policies that will ensure the transition is not too disruptive.

    If Eastern European countries transitioned from Communism, to host BMW, AUDI etc, then so can Greece.

    Their key capability is tourism. But Manufacturing is an opportunity. They are the gateway to the Black sea, and South East Asia, through the Suez Canal.

    Perhaps a NATO base?

  4. The bankers must get their pound of flesh! The Greeks and the rest of us ought to rise up against the bankers and their firewall democratic politicians. Yes Government employment is high, making taxes high, inefficient and in many cases wasted…however it is the bankers and the politicians who created this situation and they should be made to pay not ordinary workers. Default on the debts tell them it is part of the risk of lending money to governments…tough there are no guarantees in life. Why would ordinary people agree to pay for something they are not responsible for creating with their life of hard labour, poverty and uncertainty.

  5. Wonder how those numbers come up. There’s distinct possibility they twit the number to fit a purpose. Such a Greek Tragedy would never happen without the Greeks doing their part in the drama. Remember a Friend from Greece told once that “No one pay taxes over there.” He always went back to have long joyous Summer vacation with the family every summer and ” and only the dumb Americans work work work forever to pay their Mc Mansion mortgages.” Heard many Chinese business people complained about the hard time and insurmountable difficulties they encounter doing businesses in Greece. The Greece government bureaucratic only work very few hours in weekdays like from 0930 – 1130 p.m. and 02 – 0430 p.m. If you were there a bit before 0430 p.m. they refuse to take you and you must come back the next day etc etc. One could hardly get anything done over there.

    Of course not all Greeks like that that. Some do work really lone hours. But overall, at the time before the acute crisis, working hours in Greek were a big problem.

    As the number showed in the chart – time frame is the most important point. Had the Greeks work long hours before the critical crisis hit and pay their taxes, they won’t have today’s misery. They are working longest now because they have to but that won’t help much in short term since they are now so deep into the dun territory.

  6. If the Greek Public Servant employees aren’t lazy, and indifferent, then why can’t you get anything done in this country (Greece), cause they are all untrained, uneducated for the position they hold, and indifferent, and I don’t care, they do not work 8 hours a day, have been living here, (from Canada) for the last 10 years, and I have living proof, and I’m Greek by origin, and love this country, but they are all for themselves.

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