New blood also boosts the economy

The wave of migrants – chiefly from Albania and the former Eastern bloc – to Greece in the early 1990s has changed Greece from an immigrant-producing country to a host country for economic migrants. Latest statistics estimated the percentage of foreigners in the workforce at 8 to 10 percent, a ratio higher than that recorded for Germany in the 1960s. Migrants make a large contribution to the increase in the domestic product and the survival of a significant number of small- and medium-sized businesses. According to the EKKE report, cheaper migrant labor contributes 10 to 15 percent of the GDP and boosts the Greek economy in terms of market size, and supply and demand. At the same time, they free a large part of the female population from family duties, easing them into the labor market. On the other hand, in various activities – due to their lower wages and the absence in many cases of insurance cover – economic migrants have replaced and displaced the domestic workforce, especially in low-skilled work, thus aggravating the economic and social problems of certain population categories. Apart from physical or unhealthy professions, migrants have supplanted Greeks in semi- or unskilled jobs in the manufacturing sector.

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