Italian factory workers are disputing a claim by a government minister that they take up to three months' holiday a year.
Gianfranco Polillo said the 'dolce vita' was well and truly alive, saying the "Bel Paese" (The Beautiful Country) was to blame.
Mr Polillo, a junior economy minister it the government of Mario Monti, the Prime Minister, said the situation was unacceptable if Italy wants to avoid the fate of Greece and Spain, who have had to call for huge financial bail outs.
He said he came to the three months holiday conclusion by dividing the total number of hours worked in Italian factories by the number of employees.
According to the Telegraph he said: "And I discovered that an average worker is in the factory for nine months and that for three months they are, more or less on holiday."
His comments, made in the La Repubblica newspaper, have angered the country's trade unions.
Fabrizio Solari, of the CGIL, Italy's biggest union federation, called Mr Polillo's remarks "confused, off-the-cuff and not particularly smart".
However, the country still observes the tradition of taking the whole month of August off, and many wealthier Italians also expect to take an annual skiing holiday.
Mr Polillo has said that if workers were made to work at least one extra week a year, GDP could be boosted by one per cent
What do you think? Have the Italians got the right idea? Or are they slacking? Leave your thoughts below...
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