The Myth of a Lazy Southern Europe Merkel's Clichés Debunked by Statistics

Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier this week strongly hinted that Southern Europeans take too much vacation and retire too early. It is an image many Germans share of Greece, Spain and Portugal. But how true are these clichés? A quick fact-check shows that one could say the same thing about Germany.
A pensioner in Greece: On average, Greek men don't go into retirement any earlier than their German counterparts.

A pensioner in Greece: On average, Greek men don't go into retirement any earlier than their German counterparts.

Foto: Thanassis Stavrakis/ ASSOCIATED PRESS
Photo Gallery: Fact-Checking the Prejudices
Foto: SPIEGEL ONLINE
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Photo Gallery: Fact-Checking the Prejudices