ECONOMY

Greeks are working hard in EU

Greeks are among the hardest-working Europeans in the EU-27, according to European Commission data. Figures show that 18.3 percent of workers usually work more than 48 hours per week, against an EU average of 12.2 percent. In addition, 19.8 percent of workers usually or frequently work in shifts, 46.3 percent work on Saturdays and 22.5 percent on Sundays. About 16.2 percent of Greek workers have to work at night (from midnight to 5 a.m.) and some 46.5 percent in the evenings (until midnight). «When we likened the ongoing changes in the labor market to a return to the Middle Ages, some thought we were exaggerating. Unfortunately the Commission data confirm our worst fears,» said PASOK Eurodeputy Mary Matsouka, whose question to the Commission resulted in the publication of the above data. Matsouka suggested that the figures (which correspond to 2006) reflect the gradual weakening of labor legislation on working hours, while EU Commissioner for Employment Vladimir Spidla pledged to respond by the end of the year to a question on the possible relationship between labor accidents and flexible labor markets.