Palma.—Spain is not impressed by the way it is being spoken to by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel .
This week, Merkel, under fire at home for handing billions of euros to Greece, Ireland and Portugal while raising retirement ages for Germans, said that holiday and pension rules in Europe need to be unified. “(People) in countries like Greece, Spain and Portugal should not retire earlier than in Germany. “We should all make the same efforts, this is important,” she told a party event in Meschede, western Germany. “We cannot have a currency (the euro) with one person getting lots of holiday and another person very little. Long term this can't work,” she said.
More holidays
Her comments raised hackles across southern Europe, with many media producing figures showing Germans and other north Europeans actually enjoyed more holidays.

Spaniards also took offence, saying Merkel chose to ignore their sacrifices in the face of severe austerity measures and high unemployment to get out of an economic crisis. “According to the latest OECD figures for April, the Germans work a total of 7 hours and 25 minutes a day and the French one minute longer, while the Spaniards work almost eight hours a day,” said state RTVE television.

Labour union officials and media in several countries produced figures from statistics agencies showing Germans actually take more holiday than most Europeans and retire on average about the same time as others.

Germans take on average 30 days of holidays a year, compared to 22-25 in Portugal, 23 in Greece and 22 in Spain.
There are 10-12 national holidays in Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal while Germans enjoy just 9 and Slovakia has 15.
Perhaps Merkel was not aware of the debate to scrap siestas in Spain so the country's businesses are working more European hours, and the unpopular extension of the pension age. German tourists would be best to keep their opinions to themselves.