Greek opposition criticizes six-day workweek as ‘disgrace’

Greece’s main opposition party, Syriza, said on Tuesday that the recent introduction of a six-day working week for some companies was a “disgrace”.

The measure was introduced in early July by the right-wing ruling New Democracy party.

Greece has been struggling with a shortage of skilled workers since the financial crisis of the late 2000s, causing young people to move abroad in search of better prospects.

But the policy has attracted attention both at home and abroad because it runs counter to the trend in many Western countries, where the four-day workweek is being questioned as a way to boost productivity.

“Such things are unacceptable. The government must understand that this policy has consequences,” Syriza spokesperson Voula Kehagia told private television channel Skai.

Kehagia added that it “disgraced the country” by making it “ridiculous abroad.”

The six-day workweek only applies to certain businesses, including businesses that operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Employees will receive at least 40 percent more pay for the sixth working day.

Government spokesman Pavlos Marinakis stressed on Facebook that the intention is to deal with “emergencies” with “qualified personnel”.

According to Athens, the measure is aimed at combating undeclared work and addressing labour shortages caused by the shrinking population.

According to Eurostat, the average working week in Greece last year was the longest in the European Union at 39.8 hours, but productivity was lower than average.

Source: AFP

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