Greece Now Allows Companies to Require Sixth Day of Work Every Week

For Americans: Europe functions on all of these government regulations which would be alien to us. It’s all sort of like socialism. We have regulations, but they are all just a scam by corporations designed to destroy small businesses (like OSHA and minimum wage and whatever). It’s more comparable to the US social security system, it’s just much broader than that.

It’s better in some ways than America’s system, worse in others. Some certain rights are protected. They can’t fire you for political reasons like in the US, for example. They have to give you health benefits and vacation days and maternity leave and whatever other shit. I don’t really know the details, but Europeans are big on this “workers’ rights” stuff and apparently there are real world benefits because they are constantly fighting about it with their governments (which are always trying to Americanize the system but without actually lowering taxes).

But then, the government can just decide you have to work an extra day.

The Guardian:

Companies in countries worldwide may be toying with the idea of implementing shorter working weeks, but in Greece employees have been told that, henceforth, they can put in a sixth-day of labour in an unorthodox step aimed at turbocharging productivity.

After outpacing other Europeans in terms of economic growth, the nation once at the heart of the continent’s worst financial crisis has bucked the trend again, introducing a 48-hour working week. The measure, decried as “barbaric” by unions, goes into effect from Monday.

“It makes no sense whatsoever,” said Akis Sotiropoulos an executive committee member of the civil servants’ union Adedy. “When almost every other civilised country is enacting a four-day week, Greece decides to go the other way.”

The pro-business government of the prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, says the initiative was made necessary by the twin perils of a shrinking population and shortage of skilled workers. Prior to announcing the legislation – part of a broader set of labour laws passed last year – Mitsotakis described the projected demographic shift as a “ticking timebomb.” In an unprecedented exodus, about 500,000 mostly young educated Greeks are estimated to have emigrated since the near decade-long debt crisis erupted in late 2009.

Another great benefit of Greece’s entry to the EU.


“Yeah so we joined this German international cartel and now everything costs more and also we’ve got these loans and we can’t pay them back and can’t even really pay the interest so we have to cut your benefits. Also, all the college educated young people moved to Germany, so now you have to work six days a week or basically everyone is going to starve.”

Greece joining the EU will be remembered as one of the stupidest things any government ever did.

Enjoy the, you know, the subway system or whatever it is Germany bought you.

The six-day scheme, officials say, will only apply to private businesses providing round-the-clock services. Under the extended working week, staff in select industries and manufacturing facilities will have the option of working an additional two hours a day or an extra eight-hour shift, rewarded with a top-up fee of 40% added to the daily wage.

Trialled four-day week programmes have repeatedly shown increased levels of productivity with researchers attributing the outcome to improved levels of focus. Belgium in 2022 legislated to give employees the legal right to spread their working week over four days instead of five, and pilot schemes have been carried out in countries including the UK, Germany, Japan, South Africa and Canada.

Greeks already work the longest hours in Europe, putting in an average 41 hours a week according to the EU’s statistics agency, Eurostat, although surveys have also proved they get paid much less. The left-wing opposition has frequently decried “Bulgarian salaries in a country of British prices”, claiming the phenomenon has only exacerbated the brain drain.

This is utterly ridiculous.

As we always say: Europe entered “post-scarcity” in the year 1950. There is zero reason people should be working themselves to death.

A 40-hour week is already twice what European peasants worked in the Middle Ages.