The majority of the Albanian migrant workers residing currently in Greece are considering the Greek debt crisis as their potential ticket back home. After getting a taste of capitalism in Greece in the past decades, more and more Albanian citizens are feeling pessimistic over the Greek situation and are thinking of leaving Greece to find new and better job prospects back home.
According to a ProtoThema report, this year only 100,000 from more than 600,000 Albanian migrants living and working in Greece travelled to Albania to celebrate there the Easter holiday. The number is the lowest in the past years, and although it had been connected to the solving of different legal matters with the Albanian state, it is reflective of the impact the Greek recession has had on the biggest foreign workers’ group of the crisis-hit country.
According to Greek bank sources, 510 million euros have been transferred from Greek bank accounts to Albanian ones within the first three months of 2012. In 2011, Albanian migrant workers in Greece transferred 717 million euros to Albanian bank accounts. The money was transferred into closed bank accounts and had nothing to do with ordinary remittances, which sank to a five year low last year, according to Reuters.
The leaving migrants’ wave is also being confirmed by the increased numbers of pupils in Albanian schools. According to the municipal Education Directory of Saranda in Albania, 190 pupils from Greece were inducted in city schools during 2011-2012.
The public Greek school city of Gjirokastër (Argyrokastro) alone has some 100 pupils coming from families of mixed marriages who moved, according to information from ProtoThema.