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While the Germans worked an average of 1,904 hours in 2010, it’s Romania that spent the most time at the office: 2,094 hours in the same year, according to a study by a French firm published in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).However, Germany doesn’t seem to care. FAZ’s headline reads “Deutsche arbeiten sechs Wochen mehr als Franzosen” or “Germans works six weeks more that the French”.
Following close behind Romania are Hungary (2,010 hours a year), Poland, and Greece.
Perhaps giving teeth to the age-old stereotype of the lazy Frenchmen, France only worked for 1,679 hours a year. What’s more, between 1999 and 2010, France saw the largest drop in the number of working hours of any country in Europe, going from 1,968 hours a year to 1,671: a drop of 271 hours.
But there is good news for the wounded French pride. French freelancers worked as hard as their German counterparts: 2,453 hour to 2,459 hours a year.
The study, commissioned by French consulting firm COERexecode using data from the European statistical agency Eurostat, has led to a fresh round of debates in France about the 35 hour-work week regulation that came into effect in 2000, according to FAZ. While regulations have been relaxed, Sarkozy has not come through on his promise to discuss exemptions to the rule.