Yiannis-Aggelos Trantos is a fifth-year student at the Faculty of Medicine of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. “The future for most of my fellow students,” he says, “is either unemployment or immigration. I want to stay in Greece, because I don’t think that our dream after concluding our studies is to become scientific immigrants. Unfortunately, this is the only future they offer us”.
He added that, “When the hospitals in Greece close due to underfunding and most of the medical institutions are understaffed, when we have no possibility for work here and the politicians seem to have deleted our generation, then a big part of the young people is considering to leave the country”.
On the same wavelength, Yorgos Letzas, a student at the Department of Journalism and Mass Media Communication of AUTH, also admits that “leaving is the only option”.
In the last years, thousands of young scientists and specialists flee from Greece to try their luck abroad. Economic crisis, unemployment and the fear of a life without future make young people to quit their country…
Lois Lambrianidis, professor of Economic Geography at the University of Macedonia, stated that more than 120,000 Greek scientists and specialists have abandoned Greece.. He did research on the subject for the University of Macedonia with a sample of 2,800 Greek scientists.
“In late 2010, 10 percent of the scientific workforce of Greece -about 120,000 people- were abroad. This fact should make us concerned about where the country is heading to. These scientists went to many different countries mostly in Europe and the US. These people have a very high level of studies, they have Master degrees and PhDs, so the damage is much bigger than 10 percent when quality is concerned,” he said.
He added: “This scientific workforce is highly important for the development of the country. Greece cannot proceed to its development without it. There are university professors who, in order to support their families financially, get a three-year unpaid leave and go to work to a foreign university. This fact indicates the state of the Greek society today.
“With Greece’s unemployment above 30 percent and the works’ constant degradation of content, in the last years, is recorded a number of 300,000 Greeks, the majority of whom are specialized scientists, who have already completed their CVs in order to move abroad. A large number of these scientists go to Germany. According to German sources, in the last two year, 35,000 qualified Greeks work in Germany. 25,000 more are expected to go in 2013.”
The German government approved a law which will facilitates the recognition of degrees from foreign countries. More than 8,500 doctors have applied to work in Germany.
“The developed countries of the European north take the scientists without spending not a euro for their education,” said Yiannis Kouzis, president of the Department of Social Policy of the Panteion University.