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Parliamentary questions
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7 April 2021
E-001870/2021
Question for written answer  E-001870/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Gunnar Beck (ID)
 Subject: Is the Spanish experiment with siestanomics consistent with the country-specific recommendations for Spain and the Recovery and Resilience Facility objectives?

The Spanish Government has decided to invest EUR 50 million into a nationwide experiment with a four-day working week(1). This means that employees will get the same salaries despite putting in fewer hours. Meanwhile, the 2020 Country Report for Spain(2) mentions subdued economic activity, as well as decreasing labour productivity in 2018 and 2019 in combination with peaking labour costs, as the greatest challenges to the recovery of the Spanish economy. These concerns are also reflected in the 2020 country‑specific recommendations for Spain(3).

1. What is the Commission’s assessment of the four‑day working week policy, especially in the light of the Country Report for Spain, the country-specific recommendations for Spain, the Recovery and Resilience Facility’s objective of increasing productivity and competitiveness, and the country’s general lack of competitiveness and productivity?

2. Why does the Commission not advise Spain to curb the influx of migrants and step up its repatriation efforts, which would effectively lower the national labour reserve and reduce the unemployment rate without negatively affecting labour productivity?

3. How does the Commission intend to curb the moral hazard posed by the Next Generation EU programme i.e. net receiving countries lowering tax burdens(4) and decreasing productivity at the expense of net contributing countries, such as Germany?

(1)https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-04/spain-seeks-volunteers-for-nationwide-test-of-four-day-workweek?sref=i4qXzk6d
(2)SWD(2020)0508.
(3)COM(2020)0509, recitals 24 and 26.
(4)https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-06-22/italian-talk-of-tax-cuts-risks-upsetting-europe-s-recovery-plans
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