Fed-up young Greeks head abroad

3 May 2017
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A lack of meritocracy and corruption are the main reasons why talented young Greeks head abroad for work, according to ICAP People Solutions, an international human resources services provider.

The results of the group’s research regarding the country’s brain drain were presented last month within the framework of the 3rd Human Capital Summit.

The research, which was conducted for a third straight year, included a survey of 1,268 Greeks working abroad – compared to 853 who took part in 2016.

Sixty-eight percent of those who took part in the 2017 study are below 35 years of age, highly skilled and without family obligations.

According to ICAP, 41 percent of the 1,268 participants cited corruption and the lack of meritocracy in Greece as the chief reasons why they work abroad, while 34 percent pointed to the financial crisis and uncertainty. Thirty-three percent said they were also lured abroad by better career prospects.

Moreover, 42 percent – compared to 35 percent in 2016 – said they didn’t see themselves returning to Greece.

“Europe is the destination of the overwhelming majority, with Great Britain placing first by a margin, and increasing numbers heading to the Netherlands and Switzerland,” said George Haros, executive director at ICAP People Solutions, who added that a growing number of people who are married with children are seeking a better life abroad.

Roughly 500,000 Greeks migrated abroad between 2008 and 2016 in what has become a serious brain drain for the country.

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