Brain Drain: 120,000 Professionals Leave Greece Amid Crisis
Greece's sky-high unemployment and shrinking economy are leading to significant brain drain, a new study has found. The number of young scientists leaving Greece has become painfully high, as more professionals abandon their homeland for better opportunities abroad.
More than 120,000 professionals have left Greece since the start of the country's financial crisis in 2010, according to a recent study by the University of Thessaloniki.
"The number of young scientists who emmigrate has reached 10 percent of the country's potential, and that's very high," the study's director Lois Lambrianides told the Athens newspaper Ethnos on Tuesday.
Lambrianides, professor of economic geography at the University of Thessaloniki, said that the emmigrating professionals tend to leave for other European countries, settle in big cities and end up working in the private sector. He said half of them have multiple degrees from the world's top 100 universities.
Highest Unemployment in the EU
The study's release followed a spec of good economic news last week when government figures showed hirings in the private sector outpaced layoffs in March. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said while the economy remains in "critical" condition, the news was a sign of recovery.
Greece has the highest unemployment rate in the European Union, at just over 26 percent. Its economy is in its sixth consecutive year of negative growth, partially the function of deep austerity measures that have been demanded by the country's main lenders.
The leader of the junior coalition Socialist party, Evangelos Venizelos, said Tuesday after a meeting with the troika that the reform of the bloated public sector in Greece was a "test of our credibility."
"We should not be afraid of reform," he added. "We need it."
acb -- with wire reports
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