Could Europe Be Waking Up?
points us to this article in the New York Times
revealing that European firms are starting to wake up to reality.
The French, who in 2000 trimmed their workweek to 35 hours in hopes of generating more jobs, are now talking about lengthening it again, worried that the shorter hours are hurting the economy. In Britain, more than a fifth of the labor force, according to a 2002 study, works longer than the European Union's mandated limit of 48 hours a week.
Europe's long siesta, it seems, has finally reached its limit — a victim of chronic economic stagnation, deteriorating public finances and competition from low-wage countries in the enlarged European Union and in Asia. Most important, many Europeans now believe that shorter hours, once seen as a way of spreading work among more people, have done little to ease unemployment.