The IW boss advocates for more working hours in Germany and in this context also suggests the abolition of public holidays.

The head of the German Economic Institute (IW), Michael Hüther, suggested in an interview with “Spiegel” that Germans should generally work more. Hüther emphasized that due to the aging society, several billion working hours will be missing in Germany by the end of this decade. In his opinion, this deficiency could also be compensated for by abolishing public holidays.

In a “Spiegel” conversation with Teresa Bücker, a well-known feminist, Hüther emphasized the need for a higher volume of work to compensate for the impending lack of working hours. “A higher volume of work is possible if you want it,” he said. Hüther argued that due to the aging of society, around 4.2 billion working hours would be missing by the end of the decade, even if 200,000 net workers were added annually.

In his opinion, this deficiency could also be compensated for by abolishing public holidays – a measure that was already implemented in 1995 to finance long-term care insurance. “As far as I’m concerned, you can arrange vacation differently or cancel a few public holidays,” the IW boss told “Spiegel”.

He pointed to the example of Switzerland, where people work an average of 100 hours more than in Germany. However, Hüther focused on the overall volume of work and made it clear: “As an economist, I am only interested in the total number.”

In contrast to Hüther’s suggestion, Bücker advocated a fairer distribution of working hours. “We need an equalization of working hours between men and women in order to make progress on equality,” she told Spiegel. Bücker emphasized that women could only increase their working hours if men took on more family responsibility.

A shorter full-time standard could help distribute paid and care work fairly – and could even increase the annual work volume, emphasizes Bücker in an interview with “Spiegel”. Bücker also argues that surveys suggest that a four-day week could motivate former employees who have already left to return.

Astrid Hamker, President of the Economic Council of the CDU, took a clear position against the concept of the four-day week. Germany could not afford such a situation, emphasized the CDU politician at the Ludwig Erhard summit last April. “We have to go back to the meritocracy,” demanded Hamker. It’s about making it clear to the young generation that Germany’s prosperity didn’t fall from heaven.

In her speech, she also suggested linking the retirement age to life expectancy. In view of the increasing demographic effects on the labor market, she emphasized: “We already have structural problems and locational disadvantages.”

Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) argued similarly last year: “There is no society in the world or historically that has maintained its prosperity by working less.” Other economists and parties such as the Left and SPD leader Saskia argue against this Esken and the “Green Youth” for the introduction of a four-day working week with full wage compensation.

The low-cost provider of green electricity and green gas, Stadtenergie GmbH, is said to have defrauded thousands of electricity and gas customers. The damage caused could be in the millions. The public prosecutor’s office has also already been informed.

The federal government has been accessing pension insurance funds for years. Billions of euros are being misused. Now the FDP is making the action public and calling for reforms.