Greek Migrants In The 60’s And Today

Greek-Migrants-in-the-60Over the past few years the financial crisis has forced thousands of Greeks, mainly scientists and degree holders, to abandon their country in search of a better life abroad. Many have rushed to compare this new migration wave to that of the 1960’s. However, the modern Greek migrant profile differs from that of 50 years ago. Only in the decade between 1961 and 1973, approximately two million Greeks coming from the mainland of Northern Greece traveled to Germany. To date, informal reports claim 120,000 young scientists and university graduates have fled the country or decided to stay abroad and pursue their careers and life there instead of returning to Greece.

Back in the 60’s the main Greek migrant profile included males aged between 20 and 40 years old (the women followed their husband, brother, father or son after the man had found a job to earn a living), with graduate or little education, farmers or unskilled laborers and healthy so that the employer and host country would not have to pay for hospitalization or treatment costs. The main host country was Germany.

German immigration committees were settled in major Greek cities and in collaboration with physicians chose the new workforce to staff their homelands’ industries and reconstruct the country’s national economy after the political and economic collapse of World War II.

The profile of contemporary Greek migrants has significantly changed. Male migrants from Greece make up 60 or 70% of the total numbers fleeing the country. Most of them are aged between 25 to 40, but elderly people are also included. More than 60% of the migrants have received tertiary education in Greece, hold doctorates and generally come from middle-class families.

The host country is now chosen with regards to where the Greeks may have received some degree of education or completed their studies. Skilled laborers, engineers, computer technicians, doctors and other professionals tend to travel to English-speaking countries, such as the USA, the UK and Central Europe. Migration committees no longer exist, but are rather replaced by various electronic portals that find jobs for candidates from southern European countries ready to move to the more developed countries of northern Europe.

The overall conditions of migration could not be the same as before. There are no songs lamenting the “exile” of modern times, Skype and the Internet have replaced the once extremely pricey phone calls from overseas, most young people have traveled at least once in their lives abroad and have communicated in some manner with people from other countries even through Twitter or Facebook. Most of today’s migrants speak fluently one, two or even more foreign languages depending on their profession.

As Professor Lois Labrianidis explained during a conference titled, Migration Then and Migration Now, organized by the Philosophy Department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the main reasons behind the Greek exodus include the artificial oversupply of graduates in Greece (based on research data presented in the conference, Greek graduates are not much higher in percentage than in other European countries, the low demand for degree holders, reduced wages, the ambiguous attitude of the Greek society towards knowledge and last but not least, the inefficient development models applied within the country.
(original story in Greek by tromaktiko)


  1. Of note… the vast majority of Greek immigrants ASKED to immigrant. They didn’t disrespectfully sneak into other countries by the millions then rant “racism” when locals were hostile towards their lawlessness.

    Our leftist extremists constantly try to muddle ILLEGALS with legal immigrants (i.e. ones that ask and reviewed by the state for suitability), The extremists slander those that strongly oppose illegal immigrant as “fascists” and “racists” to silence objections to their non-existent immigration policies.

    These far leftist extremists manipulatively frame the million plus ILLEGALS in Greece as “migrants’ and “undocumented workers” by anti-Greek trolls in leftist foreign press like the Guardian and UK based Am-Nasty International (that both try to whitewash the former Yugoslavians sudden identity change into “ancient Macedonians)

    Meanwhile in the UK…

    “Cameron unveils immigration crackdown” (in Greece this is condemned by alleged human rights groups as a “human rights’ violation)

    “Deporting illegal immigrants costs UK £100 million a year” (in Greece, with far more illegal per capita than UK, deportation is framed as “racism” )

    UK PENIALIZED any employers that hire ILLEGAL workers (where in Greece objecting to illegal workers is frames as “fascism:” and “racism”)

    Last year, Cameron was even threatening to stop Greeks from immigrating into UK (in flagrant violation of EU agreements) The UK is not framed as “Fascist” and “Racist by our leftist extremists and foreign funded NGOs (most of whom pretend not to notice FYROM’s “little” transformation.

    When the hypocrisy, blindness over FYROM, and extreme anti-Greek rhetoric goes on long enough, how are many Greeks not to feel that some of those that claim to be against racism…… are RACIST against Greeks.

  2. This is a disaster for Greece. The “Brain Drain” all of our best and brightest are leaving Greece. We’re dying demographically this has to stop. Have you noticed all the inventions Greeks have contributed to humanity have been created in other countries? This damn government has been nothing but a parasite draining the blood of Greek people. This whole system needs to be dismantled and economic freedom unleashed. Greeks need to come home and Non European illegal and legal immigrants need to leave. Repatriotization is the solution. This our country not theirs. Go home and fixes yours.