It seems the euro zone can't catch a break these days, with contrasts between the stereotypically more industrious northern, and more laid-back southern, regions made more stark as the Continent struggles to pull itself out of recession amid persistently slow growth and high unemployment. so reports the BBC.
One long-established global notion – that of France's stubborn refusal to abandon its infamous 35-hour work week – now seems to be taking its place in history. According to French economists and workers, 35 hours is the mainstay of the blue-collar workforce in France, and even they no longer strictly adhere to that formula. An important difference between the French and American labor systems is that blue-collar and white-collar employees alike are compensated for overtime in the form of "rest days," which are negotiated by individual companies.
In fact, full-time hours logged across different European countries are more closely aligned than many observers think (though still lagging behind the U.S. and Asian economies). One reason for this, especially since the onset of the Great Recession: As in the U.S., many more European workers now have part-time status (more common in northern Europe), while the 35-hour standard is only applied to full-timers. All in all, the French are less likely in 2014 to say "Vive La Difference" regarding their perceived lifestyle.