OECD: Greeks Not as Lazy as Other Europeans Think


Latest data published by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) regarding the average European citizens’ working hours, reversed the unflattering stereotype of the lazy Greeks, which the country’s ongoing economic crisis has left them with. Contrary to what most Europeans might think, Greeks are actually the ones working the longest hours in the European Union.

OECD data showed that employees in Greece put in an average weekly shift of 42 hours, even more than Germans who only manage 35.3 hours. Some experts, though, claim this is due to the nature of the work in Greece, as in many sectors, such as agriculture and commerce, people put in long hours, while this does not necessarily have anything to do with their efficiency.


It should be noted that other countries of the European South, also affected by the financial crisis, such as Portugal and Spain, also ranked high (second and third respectively) on the list, leaving France fourth and the European Union average in fifth position with 37.2 working hours per week.

On the opposite, regarding another stereotype that wants Greeks retiring early, this seems to have a basis, as the average retirement age in the country is 57.8 years. While this is indeed low compared to other European Union member-states, it is not the lowest and margins are relatively thin, as people in the United Kingdom retire at the age of 58.3.


  1. Yes, that is correct. I have been telling my friends in the U.S. about this.

    Greeks have the past government, to blame for the world’s belief Greeks are lazy. Sameras’s government allowed this propaganda, which Germany is now capitalizing on in the current negotiations with Greece.

    The past Greek government allowed this false propaganda to continue, without defending it’s citizens.

  2. When I read 36.5 hours as a weekly average in the UK (where I live), I knew immediately that this survey is complete bullshit. I don’t know anyone in full time work who only does 36.5 hours, and more often than not people have to put in some extra hours on top of their contracted hours (not always paid, I might add.) Could it be a coincidence that this data is being published just when the OECD has made an agreement to assist Greece in getting more bailout money? Looks they have already got into the spirit of it by “going Greek” and cooking the books!

  3. Wrong mate. I work 10 hours per day but I get paid for 6 hours, the remaining 4 are unpaid and sometimes I work longer hours. You don’t know what you are talking about. We Greeks in the private sector work longer hours for less pay and that is a fact.

  4. YES, we work long hours and paid less. The lazy ones are in the public sector which has nothing to do with the private sector in fact the public sector is the real cause of the country’s “Bankruptcy” by looting the country’s wealth allowing some big sharks to evade pay their Dues for some large sums of money to cook the books and of course by mismanagement our economy. Both politicians and the public sector supported by some parasites in the private sector are behind this crisis. Not all Greeks are corrupt and lazy.

  5. Some of those Greek jobs are inherited and the person doesn’t even attend, no wonder they “work” long hours, they probably get overtime on their fictional employment and work right through their holidays. There are more Porsche cars registered in Greece than there are people earning over €50,000 a year. Crooked much?

  6. Keep your half baked conspiritard nonsense to yourself. The grunts working in Tesco are lucky to get 25 hours a week scheduled whenever their incompetent boss feels like.

  7. Well why don’t you point out these tax dodging vermin to the new lefty government and ask them exactly why they aren’t being taxed?

  8. No compassionate government or employer should let you work unpaid! It is the employer doing you wrong not the workers of Greece. Nonetheless I hear what you are saying and understand the dilemmas that we face to make ends meet.

  9. People do work hard in Greece, I have been travelling there for twenty years. People I know their have little money, but are always sharing what little they have. Life is tuff everywhere, the rich are getting richer and the rest of us are getting poorer. The Greek people needed to take control of their destiny from the few who have disgraced the Greek people with their greed. Greek people thrive in countries like Australia, USA, UK and are certainly not lazy.
    Greece has rejected cronyism and greedy rulers so lets give them a chance. Better still, lets stand with them.

  10. Can’t say that you’re right or wrong. Perhaps the poll they used to collect this data for English workers counted the average hours of work different workers put it from different fields and not the average ours of work they put in your field of work. I doubt it was set up though but who knows.

  11. Well said. I share the same beliefs. It’s a shame though to see Greece go though such had times. We were the ones who brought the lights to civilization. We were the creators and now our name is being tarnished.

  12. Mr T … can we assume that you will write the cheque personally to underpin your belief .
    .. Time will tell..begging bowls are of various shapes & sizes…

  13. I have been in Greece 3 times.
    Yes there are greeks who work hard.
    But most of the time you need their service they are not present.
    Yes, indeed they are inefficient and still have a backward ideology of socialism, which even Russian has abandoned.
    I have experienced that they are not honest and helpful when you ask them.
    For example, I Athens, I asked the tourist agency when the bus to the boat leaves.
    The lady answered, seemingly totally not interested, that the bus leave a 3am.
    I ask further where the bus leaves… meaning they do not give you voluntary information people.
    Anyway, at that morning 3 am the bus did not arrive and we waited even though we paid.
    A jeep arrived coincidentally an brought us to the harbour where they asked money.
    This characterizes Greek mentality which is not typical of a developed country but more of northern Africa.
    Greece has a mentality and an attitude problem. Many times they voted for a government promising honey and welfare without thinking how it is going to be financed.
    The referendum show exactly that.

  14. i Believe you, but let me inform you that in greece too people work for more than 42 hours and often unpaid.

  15. I need more details about this bus company in order to verify the above information. Thank you.