Migrants are key for aging Greeks

Greece’s population will start shrinking in the next decade and this is seen as hurting the economy, as the country’s aging work force staggers under the weight of the social security system, according to a report from a leading Greek bank. Alpha Bank said in a report on Greece’s aging population that, despite the continual inflow of migrants to the country, the population will start to shrink as of 2015. Problems arising from the country’s aging and shrinking population will be made worse by structural weaknesses of the economy, such as the generous pension system, Alpha Bank said. International think tank OECD recently described Greece’s pension system as being the most generous among all the countries it reviews. Migrants have provided the economy with a much-needed boost over recent years but the apparent negative attitude some Greeks have toward them could result in a cutback in the numbers coming to Greece and, therefore, maximizing the negative impact arising from an aging population, the report said. The Center of Research and Analysis of Migration wrote in a recent report that the Greeks’ attitude toward migrants is mostly hostile. Economists note, however, that Greece’s new citizens help ensure the future viability of the country’s social security system. The further tightening of migrant inflows could potentially slow down the economy, Alpha Bank added.