Nearly half a million Greeks left the country in the decade from 2008 to 2017, seeking a better luck abroad, mainly in Germany and the United Kingdom, according to the latest available data. The Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) is proposing a series of measures not only to stem the outpour of young, skilled Greeks, known a “brain drain”, but also to reverse it.
Official figures show that from 2008 to 2017 467,765 Greek citizens left the country, with the net outflow amounting to 192,493, i.e. just under 2 percent of the average population in that period.
Contrary to the emigration of Greeks in the 1950s and 1960s, the majority of those who recently left the country concerned university graduates who were unable to find employment in Greece at a salary that would match their skills.
In a special report published on Monday SEV recommends measures ranging from strengthening manufacturing and the merger of enterprises to the reduction of non-salary costs.
It also proposes incentives for the return of the youths who have left Greece, such as the issue of a repatriation handout, a special status of reduced taxation for individuals relocating to Greece as tax residents with a salaried contract in the country, the rewarding of good performance of workers, and the supply of the option of working from home for some days of the week.