The European Parliament voted yesterday to end Britain’s exemption from the maximum 48-hour working week. A bit of Euro-fudge with the member states should water this down, but across the Channel they are wondering why Britain bothers.
Since the early 1980s, les Anglais have been lecturing Europe on the virtues of long hours as the path to prosperity. While the grasshopper French were awarding themselves a 35-hour week in the 1990s, the British fought for the right to sweat away 24/7 in the name of competing with the emerging ants of Asia.
Now the boot is on the other foot. Just as there is no French word for opt-out, there is none for schadenfreude – but there is a lot of it around.… Seguir leyendo »