Re: Re: Euro – One in seven chance it will be abandoned


I’ve never worked in Germany but I’ve worked in a few places and with plenty of Germans. My experience is that in the private sector at least the Spanish work just as hard and probably do more hours than most. I’ve worked with Spanish start ups where people regularly worked through the night to hit a deadline. I also believe Germans take more days off than the Spanish, although many Spanish work a reduced timetable in summer.

However I do get the impression that a lot of the extra hours that many Spanish put in are due to inefficient management and poor company structuring, and generally don’t count for as much. With overly protective labour laws many Spanish just stay in the same job once they get a “contracto indefinido” and a few years under their belts, because changing company usually implies initially losing out on the security of the contracto indefinido and any accrued unemployment benefits.

People who have been 10 years with a Spanish company are virtually unsackable and can do what they like. Anybody who takes a proactive attitude often ends up doing extra hours to compensate for those who don’t pull their weight. Where in the UK people change roles and companies a lot in order to build their career, in Spain you get rewarded for keeping your feet under the same desk.

Also the “hot climate” argument doesn’t really apply to the main work centres in Spain since outside the holiday season those places aren’t particularly hot, and can even be pretty cold.