With Greece already undergoing an exodus of professionals and its young to escape a crushing economic crisis that has shut out their future, prospects are so bleak that even Albanian immigrants who used to get into the country by any means possible are trying to get out.
According to the latest report by the Albanian Center for Competitiveness and International Trade (ACIT), 18 to 22 percent of Albanian migrants who lived and worked in Greece have returned in Albania, about some 180,000 people.
Ta Nea, noting the phenomenon, reported that high taxes and a soaring cost of living, along with limited opportunities and Greece’s record 27.4 percent unemployment rate were the main reasons. “The financial crisis forces Albanians of our country to repatriate in a country they have never seen. After a multi-annual stay in Greece, adjustment in the paternal homes is not easy for all Albanians,” the report said.
“Some years ago, the Albanian authorities tried to make the integration process easier for young that were returning after a long stay in Greece,” the article added. “Migration offices have been set in every county and the provision of monthly financial allowances of 8,000 Lek (about €60) per family has been established. Just 5 percent of the repatriated asked for and were delivered this amount,” as explained in the newspaper.
ACIT stressed out that this return migration wave is expected to put strong pressure to the country’s public services and mostly to the educational and health system. “Most people seek jobs in arts they learned in Greece” and chiefly in agricultural production, where the biggest part (25 percent) activates.
Given the crisis that hits the neighboring country on other domains, as the constructional (building work and other), most of Albanians – almost Hellenized after so many years of stay in Greece – have to face the extremely big difficulties concerning the healthy settlement and adjustment to the new data, while the cost of ‘failure’ that accompanies and emotionally burdens many of them has to be added in this situation.