Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Euro work ethic 

It's official:

"The French government yesterday described the 35-hour working week as a financial disaster that was costing the state billions of pounds and promised to reform the system despite fierce union opposition.

"In an interview in yesterday's Le Figaro, the finance minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, said that the 35-hour week had lumbered the state with £10 billion a year in additional social charges and that it had demoralised millions of workers."
Even a 35 hour work week is too long for some, with a new study showing that

"One in four Europeans has fallen asleep in the workplace, with the Irish leading the pack but the Dutch able to stifle their yawns best... The poll showed 24 percent of respondents had fallen asleep either at their desk, in a meeting or in the toilet. Thirty-nine percent said they had not fallen asleep at work, but had to make an effort to stay awake."
Speaking of Nicolas Sarkozy, remember his name: he's a free marketeer and a Thatcher enthusiast (how lonely it must be for him in France) who gained popularity as a no-nonsense law and order Interior Minister, got shafted by Chirac into his current portfolio, and intends to run for President in 2007. Oh, and by some accounts, he might actually be pro-American.


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