Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Eurointelligence: ECB goes ballistic on reprofiling, and Strauss-Kahn resigns
Merkel hits out at Club Med on early retirement and long holidays

The euro rescue packages divide Angela Merkel's coalition and the resistance is beginning to have effects on the chancellor. At a party really Merkel hit out at the southern Europeans for going on retirement too early and for staying on holiday for too long, according to Spiegel Online and Handelsblatt. The chancellor's populist comments are applauded by her party but are badly received in Greece, Portugal and Spain where she is criticized for "colonialism". Merkel apparently referred to early retirement schemes in place for certain categories like public officials in Greece.

In a commentary Bild-Zeitung's Dirk Hoeren supports the chancellor: "The good economy (in Germany) has not fallen from the sky but it is the result of hard work", he argues. "It is inadmissible, that there are some who restrain themselves and pay while there are others who have it easy and get the money."

Portuguese have less holidays after all

Portugal rejects Angela Merkel's suggestion that the periphery countries have more holidays and an earlier retirement age than Germany. Jornal de Negocios cites statistics from Eurofund, according to which Germany has effectively not 20 days, the minimum required, but 30 days of vacation if collective agreements are included. This is more than Portugal,where a minimum of 22 can be extended to 25 days. Greece and Ireland can raise their number up to 23 and 24 respectively, also less than in Germany. Official retirement age is not so much different between Portugal and Germany. The only statistics that support Merkel's claim is early retirement. Portuguese can retire early, at 55, while this is limited at 63 in Germany.

Economics is politics by other means
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 19th, 2011 at 04:12:19 AM EST

Others have rated this comment as follows:


Occasional Series