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Spaniards 'work longer hours than Germans'

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Steve Tallantyre - [email protected]
Spaniards 'work longer hours than Germans'
Spain has been accused of suffering from 'presentismo' – a culture of staying late in the office even when not doing much work. Photo: Shutterstock

The average Spaniard worked 1,665 hours in 2013 — more than people in Germany (1,388) or France (1,489), a new study published by Madrid's Institute of Economic Studies (IEE) reveals, but productivity remains a major obstacle to growth in Spain.

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The IEE used data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to compare the number or hours worked in different countries.

The average number of hours worked per person in OECD member states as a whole was 1,770 but the figure for most EU member was lower .

Mexicans worked most hours (2,237) while people in the Netherlands worked fewest (1,380).

The study did not look at differences in productivity between countries, a major factor in determining the number of average hours worked.

According to figures from the European Commission, Germany has a productivity rate of over €42 ($54) per hour while Spain lags behind with only €32 ($41).

Last month, the OECD warned Spain that it needed to improve its competitiveness to keep its economic recovery on track.

The country has been accused of having a culture of spending long hours at work instead of concentrating on productivity while there.

ARHOE is a Spanish organization that fights for a charge to the unique lifestyle which sees Spaniards working, eating and going to bed far later than their European neighbours.

It's head, Ignacio Buqueras, told the Local last year:  "The real problem in Spain is this culture of 'presentismo', or just being in the office, even if you are not doing anything.

"We want a culture where time is used well and where people also have time for their private life," the head of the non-profit organization said.

"This will improve productivity in Spain, and it will make us more effective. It will also improve quality of life so that people can be with their family and friends."

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