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Educated Young Greeks Seek Life as Farmers

Highly educated young people seeking a quality life consider to abandon big cities, return to the countryside and get involved in the rural sector even if at the price of a decreased income. One to one-and-a-half million young Greeks plan to return to the countryside, according to a survey conducted by the Kapa Research for the Ministry of Rural Development. In the survey conducted in Athens and Thessaloniki, 68.2% of the respondents said that they have considered leaving the city, while 19.3% have already initiated such moves.
“Almost half of those willing to go away from the cities declare that they want to get involved in agriculture, animal breading and fishing, 18.3% in tourism-culture, 14.2% in communication and new technologies, 11.8% in education, 7% in commerce, 6.7% in eco-tourism, 5.8% in restaurant sector.
2/3 of those wanting to start a new life in the countryside have higher education. 25.4% Have a post graduate degree, 43% have a university or technical college degree. 17.1% are graduates from professional colleges, 8.2% from high school, 1.2% are Gymnasium graduates.
As far as the ages groups: 10.6% are 25-29 years old, 21.2% are 30-34, 25.3% a43 35-39 and 12.9% are 40-44 years old. The most productive age groups.
70% of the respondents said that they’re willing to abandon the cities for a more “substantial and qualitative life style.”
With almost one out of two Greek youth being without a job, the countryside is a good alternative and thus promoted by the Ministry of Rural Development. It rents at a price of 5 euro per acre to young farmers. So far 2,176 plots are available for rent, 3,596 requests have been submitted. The requests have been submitted by 1,200  jobless, 1,123 by aspiring farmers older than 35 years old and 585 by holders of a agriculture or similar education degrees.”
Taking into consideration the urbanization of the last decades Athens and Thessaloniki have a lot of residents of rural origin. For them it would be easier to return home. The rest of the young jobless may consider the idea, even though they have zero experience in farming or animal breeding.
I asked the jobless daughter of a friend, if she would consider moving to the countryside.  The young woman, 27,  answered without hesitation “What shall I do there? I have not the slightest idea about farming, my family has not any village connections. We own no agricultural plots, the capital needed to start such a business would be huge.”
Another friend at his late 30’s considers indeed to go back to the village of his father, should he or his wife become unemployed.  They have a child of 7 years old, they rent a flat in Athens. “Adjustment would be difficult,  but at least the living standard won’t be so expensive as in Athens. At least we have the possibility there to grow our own vegetables,” he said confident that the family would get also a job to pay bills and the child’s education.

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  1. The young woman, 27, answered without hesitation “What shall I do there?

    What about cleaning houses? Picking fruit and vegetables? We DO have supermarkets too, you know, and other shops. There might be something for someone with some imagination and willingness to try different things.

    he said confident that the family would get also a job to pay bills and the child’s education.

    No, he won’t. And besides that, why should the family pay for the child’s education? Education is free here, isn’t it? Or not… Sorry, off topic.
    But it really surprises me no end that in a country where so many people have still so much contact with the countryside so little is known about it. We do have high speed internet, you know. And not to, like some telecompany wants you to believe, get some local girl into a hay-stag. 🙂

    • keeptalkinggreece

      She can clean houses in Athens too, instead of going and pay rent in the countryside and earn… how much? supermarket? oh yeah, earn a little less than not liveable 500 e/month
      Tthere is no education without frontistirio (tutor) in Greece and you know it, even to learn properly a foreign language. what shall the family do in Athens if their earning isn’t enough to cover basic needs?

      • Tthere is no education without frontistirio (tutor) in Greece and you know it

        Yes, I do know that. And sorry for the bit of ‘trolling’, but this is something that keeps on bugging me. Time and again people around me are able to state proudly that education is free in Greece for all from kindergarten to uni and in the next sentence start telling me what their child was doing at the frontestirio this afternoon… And the ‘funniest’ are those who then start complaining about how time consuming it is to get the kids there and back again and how expensive… It is like there is a Jackal and Hyde in a lot of people.

        And about all those who contemplate coming back to the countryside. My basic point is that there is much more to do here than just agriculture or related work. But yes, cost of living is lower here for a lot of things. But petrol still costs between 1,80 and 2 euro/liter. And distances are bigger without good public transport in a lot of places. But there is an awful lot of infrastructure that IS functioning. And those areas connected to internet lead to endless opportunities for work that can be done that way. Why live in Athens when your main business is text writing, for example. No need at all.
        And if they all come here, those educated young Greeks, we will need to reopen the schools that are closing now. And it might be a good and durable alternative for all those crazy colleges that are spread all over the country and that will have to close because they are way to expensive to run in this way.
        And boy, will Iaourty be happy! 😀

        • keeptalkinggreece

          you mean opening ‘private schools’? you do need some capital for this, and banks keep their money 24/7. I think, we will miss iaourti

          • No, I mean normal public schools, where kids are being learned what they need without having to resort to ‘private’ frontestirios. Some private tutoring for kids with learning problems or learning disabilities is normal. You have that in a lot of countries. But it is completely idiotic that you can not get through school here without going to the frontestirio in the afternoon.
            There is a curriculum. And schools and teachers have to deliver that to the kids. Like everywhere else in the world. All my Greek friends have kids in frontestirios. Non of my friends in other countries have their kids in tutoring classes after school. Why? And so much for free education in Greece. It’s just part of living the myth, I guess.