Another stereotype I heard from average Joe is that British workers have to work many more hours a week to keep their salaries to a good standard and the GDP of Britain high, whereas workers in the PIGS deserve a lower income and possibly a sovereign default because they spend most of their time in siestas or sipping coffees whilst watching sports on telly.
Again, fact checking depicts a completely different situation. These are the official statistics from OECD, with the "average annual hours actually worked per worker" in 2012 reporting these numbers for some European countries:
- Greece: 2034
- Italy: 1752
- Portugal: 1691
- Spain: 1686
- United Kingdom: 1654
Wow... Not just one, but all the PIGS work more than Britons! Thus the reason they deserve a sovereign default must be something else (and might have something to do with their politicians perhaps).