The myth of the “lazy Greeks”, which was perpetuated and even reinforced following the 2010 debt crisis, has been thoroughly dispelled, as according to Eurostat data, Greek employees work more hours per week compared to workers in all the other Eurozone member-states, and will work even more with the new 6-day working week plan to take effect in July.

Greek employees aged 20-64 work an average of 39.8 hours per week at their main job, placing them at the top of the list in the Eurozone, ahead of Romania (39.5), Poland (39.3), and Bulgaria (39.0).

However, the gap between Greeks’ working hours and their Eurozone colleagues is about to widen, as the Greek government new 6-day working scheme is about to take effect in July.

As of July 1st, businesses with continuous operations and rotating shifts will be able to ask their employees to work on the 6th day.

German business newspaper Handelsblatt points out that while many EU member-states are considering the implementation of a 4-day work week, weighing the potential benefits of better quality of life for employees and a possible positive impact on productivity, and the environment, Greece is going in the opposite direction.

“No other country in the EU works as much as people do in Greece. And now they will work even more. As skilled workers become increasingly scarce, the conservative government is instituting a six-day workweek starting July 1st,” reports the German newspaper, adding that “Greece faces a labor shortage, despite having the second-highest unemployment rate in the EU after Spain.”

During the recession, unemployment in Greece soared to 28%. “About 600,000 mostly young and educated Greeks left the country, believing there was no professional future in their homeland – resulting in Greece losing its best minds,” notes the German publication, concluding by debunking the crisis-era narrative fostered by German tabloids about “the stereotype of lazy Greeks” which “has nothing to do with reality.”