Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Lazy Greek, Spanish and Italian workers"

According to my Northern European seatmate on the flight across the pond, it is the apparent lethargy of Mediterranean workers that is to blame for the economic calamity befalling Europe. "They shouldn't be taking their afternoons off!" Easy enough to say when your afternoons aren't 35 C in the shade.

I wonder if this racist and ignorant sentiment is in someway motivating the austerity measures currently being saddled on Greece and Italy.


William Hayes said...

Hey, Boris, I trust that you asked your seatmate whether he purchased a carbon offset for his flight.

And I trust that you purchased one, too!

The David Suzuki Foundation and the Pembina Institute have prepared a guide, Purchasing Carbon Offsets, to help Canadians assess the quality of carbon offsets and the vendors that sell them.

Anonymous said...

Well Boris, given that I have worked in 35 degree heat on a regular basis, that is a an easy one to answer. Add to that that I was wearing protective gear at the time and their attitude gets a little less excusable.
At the end of the day they spent more than they had and employed an American bank to help them hide it. Did they really think the ferryman wouldn't want his payment?
Going cap in hand to another group of people who kept their spending in hand is tough and remember these other folk are not of the same nationality. It is not a case of Easterners covering the needs of Mid-Westerners, it's like asking Canadians to cover US debts... hmmm wait a minute.

Boris said...


Fair comment. However, the cultural affectation for the 'siesta' has practical and social benefit. Moreover, it doesn't at all suggest laziness on the part of workers. There's also great distinction between the individual worker and the political and economic elite that thought it was a brilliant idea play with debts or expand the Euro to unequal economies so quickly.

Anonymous said...

Can't disagree with most of that, except the people were happy getting pretty impressive benefits and great working conditions and didn't think to ask, how they had managed to find the wormhole in reality that allowed this.
It's back to the old adage about something that seems too good to be true.
Then to insist on clinging to it when reality reared it's ugly head is, although normal behaviour, just exacerbated the situation. I don't think anybody comes out of the situation well and that includes the credulous populations of those countries.
As for the siesta, I love the idea of it, but in all honesty I prefer finishing by 5pm, so would nearly always forgo the break at mid day for an early finish. I guess that's as a result of my cultural back ground and a need to meet in the pub after work.