Wednesday April 16, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
19o C
12o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Greeks head north to Albania in search of work

A stretch of sand in Dhermi on the southwestern coast of Albania. Some tourism enterprises in the neighboring Balkan country pay wages as high as 40 euros a day, as the sector has experienced a boom in recent years.

By Yiannis Elafros

“Albanian tourist” was the punchline of a rather politically incorrect joke doing the rounds here in the 1990s. How the tables have changed. On top of the many Albanian migrants who are returning to their homeland, an increasing number of crisis-hit Greeks are also moving to the neighboring country in search of work.

“I regularly travel to Albania for construction jobs,” said a worker from Thesprotia in northern Greece who did not wish to give his name. “More and more, I find myself running into other Greeks from various parts of the country who have come to work in Albania,” he added.

The majority of Greeks to have visited Albania in search of employment have done so with the help of Albanian immigrants in Greece who also decided to leave the debt-wracked country.

“Wages in Albania are very low. Construction workers get 7-10 euros a day, while a craftsman gets around 15 euros; or up to 20 euros a day if he is really lucky,” the construction worker continued. Of course the cost of living there is much lower compared to Greece. “You have to understand that the people who go to Albania in search for work are really desperate,” he said.

A number of Albanian and Greek companies are looking for specialized staff from Greece, including engineers, to work on various projects in Albania. It is tough work for relatively little money.

“We are talking here about 10 hours work a day with four days off a month – that is two weekends,” said another worker, from Ioannina, who has often crossed the border for jobs. He says that male workers travel back and forth in order to visit their families back in Greece. “It’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing – particularly given the situation in Greece.”

The exodus is not large, mainly because of the low wages but also because of the limited number of jobs available. However, for the first time, Greeks who are not the employees or executives of the Tirana branch of a big Greek company are traveling to work in Albania.

The trend picked up during the summer as many Greeks sought work in tourism in southern Albania, where the wages are higher, hovering at around 30-40 euros per day.

Although there is no clear long-term trend, the inflow is confirmed by figures from the immigration department of Albania’s Labor Ministry. Officials say most workers came from Turkey, Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), as well as Italy, Canada and China.

The number of foreign applications for work permits is small – just 2,500 for 2012 but still 8 percent higher compared to 2011. Many of the odd jobs do not require a work permit, which backs the trend of short-term employment.

ekathimerini.com , Saturday December 7, 2013 (17:11)  
City of Piraeus undergoes transportation transformation
The real deputies of the Greek Parliament
Pilio-based tourism professionals launch online campaign for year-round direct flights from UK to Volos
Copy business with a difference
Only in Athens: A new design concept for souvenirs
As tourism to Athens finally appears to be picking up after several years, it is becoming all the more apparent how backward the Greek capital is in selling itself. And, no, I don’t mean in ...
Greek sale fetches 2.1 million pounds sterling at London´s Bonhams
Several works by leading Greek artists were sold at auctioneers Bonhams in London on Wednesday. Highlights included "Prayer in the Mount of Olives," a painting by Constantinos Parthenis (187...
Inside Life
Inside Travel
Inside Gastronomy
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. New Greek bond returns to yield at sale
2. Greenpeace warns Greek bees at risk due to ‘toxic cocktail’
3. Sanctions on Russia may ‘destroy Cyprus economy’
4. Writer slammed for questioning Holy Fire
5. City project puts up poor families
6. Golden Dawn MP to face charges for 2005 mugging
more news
Today
This Week
1. EU struggles to unpick the knot of Russia-Ukraine gas logistics
2. Stormy weather expected in northwest, central Greece
3. Greece to assist search for remains of Turkish pilot
4. Illegally claimed pensions cost state over 12.5 million euros
5. University admission exams to commence May 28
6. Bad weather leaves northwest town powerless
Today
This Week
1. Bomb explodes outside Bank of Greece
2. Time to take a hard look at debt sustainability, says OECD chief
3. For faith and country
4. CCTV footage from Nigrita Prison shows signs of inmate torture [Video]
5. Car bomb explodes outside Greek Central Bank building, no one hurt [Update]
6. Samaras sees no need for third bailout
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.