Greece has sparked controversy with its new ‘growth-oriented’ six-day work week, diverging from the global shift towards a four-day work schedule. Aimed at boosting productivity, this decision has enraged labour unions, who have deemed it “barbaric.” A representative from the Civil servants’ union ‘Adedy’, Akis Sotiropoulos, criticised the move, saying during an interview with the Guardian, “When almost every other civilised country is enacting a four-day week, Greece decides to go the other way.”

According to government officials, the extended work week will target private businesses offering round-the-clock services. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis defends the policy, citing urgent issues such as a declining population and a shortage of skilled workers. “The nucleus of this legislation is worker-friendly, it is deeply growth-oriented, and it brings Greece in line with the rest of Europe,” Mitsotakis said.

Employees now have the option to work an additional two hours per day or an extra eight-hour shift, with a 40% pay increase for the sixth day and up to 115% more for Sunday work. Despite working the longest hours in Europe at 39.8 hours per week, Greeks continue to grapple with wages lower than pre-financial crisis levels.

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