“Germany is again at the forefront and pulling the European Business Train”. Those are the proud words of the German Federal Minister of Economic Affairs. The Federal Chancellor says it with the hint of a fighting spirit showing around her mouth. The Federal Minister of Finances says it cautiously. So we ask: who does the pulling? Who is the stoker? The innovative enterprises? The diligent German workers, with and without migratory background? Probably.
But looking at the calendar, I get a different idea, probably a better one. The first of May – a Saturday. The third of October – a Sunday. Reformation Day – a Sunday. The first and second day of Christmas – Saturday and Sunday. And I am sure you already guessed – New Year’s Day is also a Sunday, although strictly spoken it no longer counts. 5 more work days than in other years means a roughly 2.5 per cent higher GDP. Even if we take into consideration that Reformation Day is no longer a holiday in all regions, there still remain 4 days = 2 per cent.
So, ladies and gentlemen: be cautious and humble! Instead of praising yourself, you should pay an extra bonus to Pope Gregory XIII (of course less than 500,000 Euros) by lighting a candle of thanks on this Reformation Day. After all, it was he who, in the year 1582, wrote the bull “inter gravissimas”, thus showing how farsighted he is and seeing to it that we work so much in the “boom year 2010”.
(Translated by EG)