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edao
20-05-10, 21:23
For those of the opinion that the hard working Germans are bailing out lazy Greeks think again!

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2010/05/12/business/economy/workyear.jpg
Source (http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/12/s-koreans-put-in-most-hours/)

Maybe Holland need to cut back on the wacky backy :crab:

LeBrok
21-05-10, 02:40
I think they count 4 hour siesta as working hours, lol. Something doesn't ad up there. One quoter or third of Greeks work in government jobs. Do you think the rest of country compensate for this? And if it happens that they spend so many hours at work, it means that they don't produce much during that time. Maybe they talking too much at work or something?

LeBrok
21-05-10, 02:43
The truth might be that to produce, to grow GDP and wealth of society, nation needs to invest in technology and machines to produce things and not relay on human muscles too much.

Wilhelm
21-05-10, 03:03
Actually Germany has highest GDP of the EU, becasue it is the most populated country in the EU with over 80 million people.

Marianne
22-05-10, 22:53
I think they count 4 hour siesta as working hours, lol. Something doesn't ad up there. One quoter or third of Greeks work in government jobs. Do you think the rest of country compensate for this? And if it happens that they spend so many hours at work, it means that they don't produce much during that time. Maybe they talking too much at work or something?
There is no such thing as siesta hour, that's in Mexico... We might export less than what we import but that doesn't mean that Greeks aren't hard working. We are just a non-industrial country and most of the jobs have to do with services and not production. The percentage of people working in government jobs isn't a third or a quarter but around 15-20%.

My father works in a government job and most of the times there is so much work to be done that he doesn't even have time to go to the bathroom... He has to deal with the public at his job and although the visiting hours end at 13:30, there are so many people already in line that they finish at 15:00, when it's time to go home (working hours for him are 7:00-15:00). That means he gets extra work at home (the one he should be doing from 13:30 till 15:00).

I don't know where your newspapers get their facts from, but apparently they are not representing the reality and probably try to impress. I'm not saying that there aren't people who aren't doing their job properly but judging a whole nation based on a few lazy people is ridiculous and of course there are such cases in every country.

The truth is that Greeks are one of the most hard working people in the world, among the developed countries, and definitely not one of the best payed ones. Greeks have been aware of this for years and we were really surprised and felt wronged by the German press when they started calling us lazy a few months back when the crisis begun.

Cambrius (The Red)
23-05-10, 01:16
There is no such thing as siesta hour, that's in Mexico... We might export less than what we import but that doesn't mean that Greeks aren't hard working. We are just a non-industrial country and most of the jobs have to do with services and not production. The percentage of people working in government jobs isn't a third or a quarter but around 15-20%.

My father works in a government job and most of the times there is so much work to be done that he doesn't even have time to go to the bathroom... He has to deal with the public at his job and although the visiting hours end at 13:30, there are so many people already in line that they finish at 15:00, when it's time to go home (working hours for him are 7:00-15:00). That means he gets extra work at home (the one he should be doing from 13:30 till 15:00).

I don't know where your newspapers get their facts from, but apparently they are not representing the reality and probably try to impress. I'm not saying that there aren't people who aren't doing their job properly but judging a whole nation based on a few lazy people is ridiculous and of course there are such cases in every country.

The truth is that Greeks are one of the most hard working people in the world, among the developed countries, and definitely not one of the best payed ones. Greeks have been aware of this for years and we were really surprised and felt wronged by the German press when they started calling us lazy a few months back when the crisis begun.

Marianne, unfortunately there are too many people in this world who can't see beyond their noses.

Maciamo
23-05-10, 04:26
Working hours don't matter much. Results matter. It's all a question of efficiency/productivity. The Japanese are known for working long hours but I can tell you from my experience of working in Japan that working hours there are much less intensive than in north-western Europe. There are two major problems with these statistics:

1) they are based on hours at the office/workplace rather than actual hours of uninterrupted work (but it's nearly impossible to do otherwise). A civil servant or shopkeeper with no work/customer for half of the day cannot really be considered to be working, even if he is waiting for something to show up.

2) one dedicated working hour does not have the same value depending on the person's knowledge/abilities and working speed. For example, someone who speaks English and German but has no training or experience as a translator will take 2 or 3 times longer to translate the same text as a professional translator, and the result might be less satisfactory despite longer working hours. The only way for stats to refelect this is to calculate productivity based on the actual value produced (GDP) divided by the number of wokers and working hours.

LeBrok
23-05-10, 04:33
Wow, hold your horses sister. Even if I didn’t agree with statistics from first post, I didn’t mean that Greeks are lazy. I have Greek friends here and they are most hard working people I’ve ever known.

The reason I didn’t agree are statistics like this one:
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/gr.html (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/gr.html)

When I said government jobs, I meant all jobs sanctioned by government that includes not only people working directly in government offices but also teachers, police, postal workers, crews repairing city streets, etc. Above statistic shows Greece at 40% public (government) jobs.
I realize that in these jobs there are some people with strong work ethics and responsibility, like your mother, but we all know, and had an experience how “hard” people work in government positions and how disproportionally better they are financially rewarded than people working in small business for example.
Unfortunately, however important these jobs are they don’t build you a house or a car, make food, or create a product for export so you can import foreign goods too.
I know that it is extremely hard to figure out how much people should earn in government jobs, unlike free market setting prices in business environment. Government jobs combined with strong unions and luck of accountability always rewards too much money to employees and their bosses. In Greece case it accounts for 40% of work force.

I don’t agree with you that Geeks are underpaid for their work. Looking at financial mess in your country, they were paid too much. You cannot pay yourself more than you produce, the GDP of the country, even if you feel that you are entitled to more. You cannot constantly borrow money and not pay it back, or pay consequences and shout “It’s not fair to Greek people”.
It is simple math, economics 1001, and it can happen to every country and already did to many. What surprises me is that Greeks generally don’t agree with it. On other hand, they are known to invented many things, maybe they are on to something new, something we’ve never seen?
For the time being, Greek public economy doesn’t make sense. And here is a little story that confirms that.
http://www.bild.de/BILD/news/bild-english/world-news/2010/04/27/multi-billion-euro-aid-to-greece/german-anger-at-paying-luxury-greek-pensions.html (http://www.bild.de/BILD/news/bild-english/world-news/2010/04/27/multi-billion-euro-aid-to-greece/german-anger-at-paying-luxury-greek-pensions.html)



Greece
Germany
Years of work to earn full pension:
35
45
Proportion of wages as pension:
80 %*
46 %
Number of pension payments a year:
14 x
12 x
Pension increase 2004:
3 %
0 %
Pension increase 2005:
4 %
0 %
Pension increase 2006**:
4 %
0 %
Minimum payment (Euros):
445
ca. 600
Maximum payment (Euros):
2538
ca. 2100
Minimum pension age for men:
65
65–67
Minimum pension age for women:
60
65–67
Average pension entrance age:
62,4
63,2
* for insurance beginning before 1.1.1993, 70% after 1.1.1993, average earner;
** last available figures; sources: Eurostat, OECD, Dt. Rentenversicherung



Apropos siesta, Mexico ha?. Swim to the other side of the pond to Italy and here you go, siesta in the middle of the day. I didn’t mean that it makes people lazy. I was just joking that siesta was included in working hours to rump up the total. Siesta is a typical time off during hottest hours in most southern countries, and there is nothing wrong with it. And I’m pretty sure that in Greece siesta, or whatever is called in Greece, is implemented for workers working outside during summer, at least. There is also a reason why your mothers working hours (guessing that it is a typical thing for most offices) ends at 13.30, before the hottest part of the day. Nota bene, that’s 6 and a half hour working day, set by government, times 20 working days a month and times 12 months, that’s 1560 official hours a year. Even with 8 hours a day it’s 1920 hours for 40% of working force. Looks like your business sector needs to work over this 2120 hours to get the average, and probably makes less money than public workers. How fair is this to them?
And this goes to most developed countries not only to Greece. If we are not careful, we all might end up one day in Greece's predicament.

LeBrok
23-05-10, 04:43
Actually Germany has highest GDP of the EU, becasue it is the most populated country in the EU with over 80 million people.

According to this logic China should have highest GDP in the world. Don't you forget about other important factors regarding GDP?

Also keep in mind that Germany had to pay for development and unification of East Germany. That pushed them back at least a decade.

Wilhelm
23-05-10, 05:46
According to this logic China should have highest GDP in the world. Don't you forget about other important factors regarding GDP?

Also keep in mind that Germany had to pay for development and unification of East Germany. That pushed them back at least a decade.
Last time I checked China was not in the European Union

LeBrok
23-05-10, 08:19
I'm glad you noticed.

Marianne
23-05-10, 13:29
I don’t agree with you that Greeks are underpaid for their work. Looking at financial mess in your country, they were paid too much. You cannot pay yourself more than you produce, the GDP of the country, even if you feel that you are entitled to more. You cannot constantly borrow money and not pay it back, or pay consequences and shout “It’s not fair to Greek people”.
It is simple math, economics 1001, and it can happen to every country and already did to many. What surprises me is that Greeks generally don’t agree with it.
Being underpaid means that you should be getting payed for more for the amount of work you do. It has nothing to do with the capability of your boss to pay you.

Greeks are underpaid for the work they do if you compare their working hours and salary to the working hours and salary of countries for example in northern Europe (for similar jobs). The fact that the country cannot support these salaries doesn't mean that they are not underpaid. Kids in Taiwan working for 1 USD/12 hours are underpaid and that doesn't change if their boss can't or shouldn't give them more or not. (I don't compare Greeks with kids in Taiwan, I'm just making a point)

For the time being, Greek public economy doesn’t make sense.
I agree

As for the Bild link, if I wanted to get my facts straight I wouldn't trust Bild for that... This is one of the most unreliable newspapers I have ever read. It's main purpose is to impress and turn public opinion to the way that best suits their politics. To me it's the same as reading People magazine with less gossip and more topless girls in the front cover :rolleyes2:

Looking at plain numbers doesn't give you the big picture and everyone knows that you can present/manipulate the numbers the way you want to make your point (Greece, Spain and some other EU countries proved it with their cooked books) and that newspaper has been trying really hard to prove a certain point the last months. To fairly compare these data you would have to look at working hours also, size of salaries, working conditions, help to support your kids by the government etc.



Apropos siesta, Mexico ha?. Swim to the other side of the pond to Italy and here you go, siesta in the middle of the day. I didn’t mean that it makes people lazy. I was just joking that siesta was included in working hours to rump up the total. Siesta is a typical time off during hottest hours in most southern countries, and there is nothing wrong with it. And I’m pretty sure that in Greece siesta, or whatever is called in Greece, is implemented for workers working outside during summer, at least. There is also a reason why your mothers working hours (guessing that it is a typical thing for most offices) ends at 13.30, before the hottest part of the day. Nota bene, that’s 6 and a half hour working day, set by government, times 20 working days a month and times 12 months, that’s 1560 official hours a year. Even with 8 hours a day it’s 1920 hours for 40% of working force. Looks like your business sector needs to work over this 2120 hours to get the average, and probably makes less money than public workers. How fair is this to them?


Siesta actually would make people more productive but unfortunately Greek employers/government don't really realize that. :innocent:
I have seen people working outdoors taking a 30min break to eat and relax, for example people working in construction jobs or farmers etc but this doesn't apply to people working at office jobs.

My father doesn't work till 13:30 he works till 15:00. Till 13:30 he is supposed to accept public in his office and from 13:30 till 15:00 to do paper work. The problem is the people are so much during the day that when the doors close for the public at 13:30 there are still so many people in the line that he finishes with them at 15:00 so he gets the paper work at home. He works 8 hours at work and another 2 hours at home finishing the extra paper work. That is 10 hours daily that is not counted of course in the working hours presented in the above chart.

Also many Greeks work 2 jobs to make ends meet because with their underpaid salaries they can't support a family with the cost of living being too high after the euro (the current legislation isn't very family-friendly: 250 euros per year-per kid if your family has 3 or more kids)

As I said before one of the problems of Greece is that we don't produce all the goods that we need so we must import more than what we export and not that Greeks don't work hard (in most cases of course)



And this goes to most developed countries not only to Greece. If we are not careful, we all might end up one day in Greece's predicament.
Well as far as Europe is concerned Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Italy are the next target of the markets and USA is not really in a better state... The crisis is a global one and Greece was only the first victim of the markets...

LeBrok
23-05-10, 19:19
[
QUOTE=Marianne;358496]Being underpaid means that you should be getting payed for more for the amount of work you do. It has nothing to do with the capability of your boss to pay you. [/QUOTE]

Ah, oh, hmmm, what???!!! And who the heck planted this idea in your head? I didn't even hear something weird like this in former comunist countries. If this way of thinking is popular in Greece then we uncovered roots of Greece financial mess.





Greeks are underpaid for the work they do if you compare their working hours and salary to the working hours and salary of countries for example in northern Europe (for similar jobs). The fact that the country cannot support these salaries doesn't mean that they are not underpaid. Kids in Taiwan working for 1 USD/12 hours are underpaid and that doesn't change if their boss can't or shouldn't give them more or not. (I don't compare Greeks with kids in Taiwan, I'm just making a point)

Here we go, generation of entitlement people spoken. I can bet you that I can find many bosses of financial institutions making millions of dollars and euros a year, which will claim they are underpaid and deserve more money. I know you wouldn’t agree with them, but hey, they feel this way, same as you do.
Tell me one thing, how come your feelings of deserving more money, trumpets over accounting, economy, math and science in general? Why your feelings are more important than balanced accounting books of the whole country? Where did you get this wicket idea that you can continually be paid more money, just because you feel underpaid?

Let me tell you something. You can protest, you can talk about your feelings, entitlements, injustice of rich and financial systems, but it won't change one thing, it won't change numbers in accounting books, it won't produce more money, the party's over. The numbers say that actually Greeks where overpaid.
The beauty of numbers and understanding their simple logic is that numbers are not skewed by feelings, wants, desires, the numbers don't lie and are true to the bone. If you listen to them they will tell you a simple universal truth, if you want to make more money and every Greek a good life, you need to produce bigger GDP. It'll tell you that borrowing or printing money doesn't work for long term prosperity.
With bigger GDP per capita, there will be fewer people avoiding taxes. The more you have the easier it is to share with others, either taxman or poor, in general of course. The more money people make the less corruption in everyday life. You'll retain smart and talented people in your country and draw many back too. With bigger GDP you'll have cleaner environment and cities, better infrastructure.
Get rid of socialistic government, embrace business, ramp up GDP and you'll be laughing and enjoying life in ten years. For god sake, you have an army of hard working people, make use of them.

or....complain about being underpaid, blame rich, corruption and banks, borrow more money to satisfy your hurt feelings and entitlement, ruin the country in the process and enjoy misery and poverty.

Marianne
23-05-10, 20:18
(I won't quote your post cause mine is already huge so this is a general reply)

I don't know if my English is so bad but it seems that you keep miss understanding my words or that you are not reading carefully to what I say. I never said that Greeks should be payed more or that they should be payed the same as the people in the same jobs in other countries with bigger economies.

I said that if you do exactly the same job as I do with exactly the same results and I get paid more than you then you are underpaid compared to me. If my company makes more money than yours then of course I will get payed more than you for the same thing because my boss is able to give me more. That doesn't change the fact that compared to me you are underpaid but of course you deserve less.

You say that some Greeks are overpaid concerning their country's capability to pay them and I agree to that, I never said the opposite.

What I said is that if a Greek person moves to another country and does exactly the same job will get paid for more. So compared to that other country here he is underpaid.

Apparently you look at underpaid in relation to the country/boss while I look it in relation to the work being done. I keep looking at my post and I see no reason why my words would imply that Greeks should be getting higher salaries or that they should be getting the same as Americans or Germans.


Yes numbers are not skewed by feelings and desires but you can easily present them in a way to promote your ideas. You can take the outcome of any survey or poll and present it in a way that promotes different results. It's called politics. You can ask our current PM, he got to run a country (pretty badly) by convincing people that "there are plenty of money" (his slogan during the elections) while the previous PM was talking about a "tough year approaching", and they were both using the same data to support it!!!
This video here apparently shows why the current one won http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhjUJTw2i1M&feature=fvst

It's been more than half a year since he took over, we have been dealing with the crisis this whole time and he still isn't proposing anything to promote growth and increase our GDP. All he is doing is cutting back on everything (except for his own expenses) as if he was using his fingers to cover the holes on a sinking boat. Soon he will run out of fingers and the problem will still be there. He is even worse than the communist party. All they do is protesting about the austerity measurements without proposing anything, but no one can blame those, they are not elected to run the country... The only parties promoting growth are the right winged ones but our PM is apparently too proud to listen to them...

LeBrok
28-05-10, 08:27
Surly it is difficult to calculate complex systems, and they are harder to understand especially for masses, average citizens. It doesn't mean that numbers are wrong, more like limitation of human mind to understand them.
I was referring to Greece accounting mostly. Every accountant looking at these numbers will tell you that you can't borrow money forever. One side can argue that Greeks are underpaid, other side that they are overpaid, the economist will say that in order to get a better pay for your citizens you need grow your GDP. GDP is like a big pizza produced by a whole country and everybody gets his pay in a slice of this pizza. You want bigger slices you need bigger pizza, or souvlaki in Greece case.
The whole economy is more complicated than that, but we know how to calculate this, and what we can afford accordingly. That's the numbers I was talking about.
In Canada public sector salaries are skewed too. For couple of years privet sector and business are making less money, but in public sector people are still getting raises. For me public sector salaries should be pegged to GDP per capita. The economy is growing 3%, their pay should grow 3% too. The recession is here and we lost 2% per capita, public sector gets 2% less. No contracts, strikes, negotiations needed. It's fair, automatic and logical. Heck, maybe then everybody would get interested how to increase countries GDP, and stop demanding more money from government, even during a recession.

I just learned that Canada is chipping in 30billion dollar to the Greece saving found. I don't remember through what channels, IMF or others. It's not only European problem I guess.

edao
28-05-10, 09:16
I just learned that Canada is chipping in 30billion dollar to the Greece saving found. I don't remember through what channels, IMF or others. It's not only European problem I guess.

I think people need to get their head out of the 'us and them' mentality particularly in Europe. You can't have a political and economic union if you villainise certain parts of the community. Most of Europe has borrowed beyond it's means and will now have to pay the price. For certain the rather large holes in the EU political system which allowed this crisis have to be addressed. People should be pointing fingers less and instead looking to reforms that will stop it happening again.

The biggest danger Europe now faces is the social cost of the auesterity measures now being imposed, with an almost certain double dip ahead for most countries it will put huge stresses on the Eurozone. I really can't see how Greece can take the pressure of their austerity measures, I doubt any country in Europe could withstand the cuts now imposed without something giving way. It seems more people are looking to the possibility of a Greek default as a means to let the pressure out of the tyres.

The turmoil that one small country in Europe has created in the world finacial markets mearly underlines the fact that the days of 'us and them' are gone, because the cost for everyone when one country falls down will be an expensive price.