Limiting the EU working week to 48 hours would be a mistake that would prejudice the economic growth of a region already trailing the US, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.
In an interview with the Spanish Expansion magazine, Rodrigo Rato said a 48-hour limit would push the eurozone in “the opposite direction” to the rest of the world.
The European parliament voted this month to end exemptions enjoyed by the UK and some other countries to the working-time directive, requiring people to work an average of no more than 48 hours a week.
“I don’t know what social model they are defending by stopping people doing more,” Rato said.
The IMF chief said a lack of structural reforms, rather than monetary policy, was the main obstacle to growth in Europe.
“[The region] is still imposing excessive restrictions on mobility and on initiatives to seek and find work, and on job-creating activities,” he said.