Minister says sorry for suggesting workers lazy

HIGH COURT: Arrested Swedish national awaits extradition in Madrid Photo credit: CC/FDV

A SPANISH minister has apologised for saying Spanish workers should get on with their jobs.

In a letter Public Administration minister, Antonio Beteta apologised for what was an out of context “phrase which could be interpreted as a blanket criticism”.


The follows a comment made by him last week in which the minister said employees should forget morning cafelito (coffee) and the newspapers and concentrate on work instead.

He warned that nothing will be the same again following Rajoy’s labour reforms. Productivity was vital for reducing the deficit, he said.

“We need to work like the Chinese in order to live like Spaniards,” the minister explained.


Values like responsibility, honesty or diligence are called for now, Beteta stated.

The government would always tell the truth in order to attract investment and create employment by regaining trust and credibility, he stressed.

Andalucia’s foremost public sector workers union SAFJA responded by demanding Beteta’s resignation or dismissal. The minister’s observations belittled the image of civil servants and resurrected their old stereotype of laziness, claimed a statement from union.


Beteta had once again unfairly picked on public sector employees and should rectify immediately and make a public apology, SAFJA said.

Beteta’s observations were “unfortunate” agreed Miguel Borra, president of another civil servants’ union, CSI-F.

Calling on Beteta to choose his words more carefully, Borra advised him not to get carried away by “glib expressions and clichés.”

They sullied the work carried out by the public sector, said the CSI-F president.

By speaking as he had, Beteta was criticising judges as well as postmen, doctors, nurses and teachers amongst others, he declared.

“If the country is the way it is, that’s not the fault of the public sector,” Borra maintained.

Beteta needed to look towards the politicians if wanted to blame anyone for the crisis, he said.

By Linda Hall

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