Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras pledged more efforts to reverse the brain drain, as a new survey showed that 60 percent of Greeks living and working abroad wish to return home.
During a visit at the National Centre for Scientific Research “Demokritos” in Athens, Tsipras discussed with scientists the topic “From brain drain to brain gain”, according to an e-mailed press release from his office.
In the past four years the government increased funds directed to research and efforts to give opportunities to young scientists to return and offer their services to the country, contributing to the economic recovery after the acute debt crisis which hit Greece in 2009, he said.
Six in 10 Greeks who live and work abroad wish to return to Greece, according to a survey of the National Documentation Centre that collects and preserves scientific and cultural content and data in digital form.
The 60 percent wish to return home citing the good quality of life in Greece, and 42 percent cited the wish to be close to their families as the main reason, according to the survey published by Greek national news agency AMNA.
The key prerequisite for 44 percent of expats to return to Greece is a good income, while 36 percent said that they would make the step if they could find jobs in their specialization.
During the debt crisis, Greece has seen an exodus of its young talents.
According to data from the central Bank of Greece, some 427,000 Greeks have left the country in the past decade. Half of them were highly educated and qualified youth.
In the peak of the crisis in 2013, Greeks aged under 25 faced unemployment rates of 60 percent.
The figure dropped to 39.5 percent in December 2018, according to the latest data from Greece’s statistics authority, but more needs to be done, the Greek leader acknowledged