Monday, October 03, 2011

Euro Crisis And Greek Outmigration

You go where you know. Migrants may vote with their feet. Predicting where they will end up is more a matter intimacy. The economic geography of the Greek financial crisis:

Old migration roots have been revitalised since last year. People from north-eastern Greece, the hardest hit by the crisis, are trying to return to Germany and Scandinavia where their predecessors flourished as ‘gastarbeiters’ (guest workers) in the fifties and sixties. Countries in Western Europe, the United States, Canada and Australia are the most popular destinations so far. ...

... In Australia, after scams that abused the credit details of people promised migration and jobs, the Greek community in Melbourne, that has one of the biggest diaspora communities of ethnic Greeks, has mobilised to accommodate seekers.

The legacy pathway of the gastarbeiters migration is 50-years old. Today's relocation is a testament to the strength of the ties between two communities. Our unit of analysis for international migration is the nation-state. Aggregated in that data are important subnational connections, such as the "Greek" Diaspora in Melbourne. The lines of trust will lead economic refugees to a specific neighborhood in the city, not just anywhere in relatively prosperous Australia. Melbourne isn't necessarily the best rational choice for an immigrant.

Some of the well-off are leaving as well. Andreas Kallisteris dropped a lucrative consultant’s job at the ministry of employment to follow his wife and son to Berlin. His wife, a self-employed translator, was also doing well, but decided to go.

There might be more opportunity in Frankfurt. There is considerable regional economic variation within Germany. A self-employed translator could go just about anywhere. Most likely, Berlin was predetermined as a destination.

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