Will Greeks mass migrate to the UK?

by Mark Alexander

11:37 AM, 18th May 2012
About 8 years ago

Will Greeks mass migrate to the UK?

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Will Greeks mass migrate to the UK?

Having thought through the economic problems in Greece I have to ask the question, will Greeks mass migrate to the UK?

In my opinion, Germany will eventually realise that supporting the Greek economy ad-infinitum just doesn’t make sense and will cut their losses and allow the Greek economy to fail. I also believe that point is very close.

The reason Greece has so many problems is that their only real industry to speak of is tourism. They are an unproductive country in economic terms, they simply can’t service their debts, let alone keep borrowing. State reliance and the expectation for government support of the Greek population is both unmanageable and unsustainable for the Greek government. If/when the Greek economy fails it is my opinion that Marshall Law will need to be implemented and that their banking system will completely collapse, i.e the Greek banks will close and nobody will be able to access their Greek bank accounts. The effects will be similar to what happened to Countries following the collapse of the Soviet Union, i.e. mass shrinkage of public sector and the withdrawal of all benefits. The difference, however, is that Greeks will not be confined to their own Country. I suspect that Europe will keep it’s borders open.

For a variety of reasons, not all Greeks will migrate but I suspect 15% to 20% will. Where will they go? I suspect that a lot of them will come to England as we have strong state support. Those who are tied to their own country for a variety of reasons will go through similar experiences to the former Soviet states. I know a fair bit about that as my partner is Russian and many of her friends come from the Ukraine. Without state support, people have no choice but to become entrepreneurial. To survive they will grow their own fruit and veg and will barter.

What will the collapse of the Greek economy mean to the UK Private Rented Sector?

If many of the Greeks decide to migrate to the UK on the basis that our benefits system is so strong where will they live? I can only see that massive additional pressure will come to bear on the PRS but as so many landlords are exiting the LHA and HMO market I can see problems. Another large rise in immigration will cause several problems for the UK, in particular, housing, unemployment and a further burden on the benefits system.

How can the UK afford for this to happen?

What are the opportunities for PRS landlords?

It’s all very well to argue that increased demand for accommodation will inflate rents and perhaps even property values but what of the long term effects to our economy?


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Comments

11:56 AM, 18th May 2012
About 8 years ago

"I suspect that a lot of them will come to England as we have strong state support."

What exactly do you mean? Are you implying that the young Greek people, and it is normally the young generation emigrating as they are more flexible, don't want to work?

Also, if "strong state support" is referring to the welfare, there are 12 European countries spending more on their welfare than the UK does as a % of the GDP.

I believe there are many other economies doing better than the UK right now. Surely that's more attractive to young Greeks assuming they want to have a better future and work. Unless they have a qualification where the UK has a shortage, why would they want to come here?

Mark Alexander

15:09 PM, 18th May 2012
About 8 years ago

I do not want to over generalise and offend the Greek population, especially those who are hard working. However, the Greek economy has got itself into such a mess as a result of expectation levels for government support. It is difficult to argue that the UK provides anything less than the most effective safety net is it not?

16:30 PM, 18th May 2012
About 8 years ago

I think people from Greece and Spain are more likely go to Germany with an economy that is doing well and low unemployment. First figures seem to confirm this:

http://www.economywatch.com/in-the-news/german-immigration-reaches-16-year-high.18-05.html

"Immigration to Germany, the eurozone’s single largest economy, has
reached its highest level in 16 years as residents from countries like
Greece and Spain flee rising unemployment and weak economic prospects in
their home countries."

I have my own views about the welfare system in the UK. I don't really want to go into it. As I said, I believe the young people from Spain and Greece are looking for jobs and a future, not welfare.

18:07 PM, 18th May 2012
About 8 years ago

These other countries that you suggest pay more in welfare benefits than the UK. pray tell where are they?
A Romanian gypsy can come here, sell the Big Issue for 6 months and then go to the job centre, declare they are homeless but have been 'working' and be housed along with their family.
Why do you think 80% of Big Issue sellers are now Romanian gypsies.
£26000 of benefits is the equivalent value that such a Romanian gypsy would receive
Name any EU country where you may access such a benefit wage as that after 6 months of working in that country.
There aren't anywhere as far as I am aware.
If I was Greek I would be beating a path here double quick.
You will start seeing very soon Greek Big Issue sellers.
It is the EU migrants' way to accesss the wonderful world of free UK benefits.

Mark Alexander

21:53 PM, 18th May 2012
About 8 years ago

I accept that Angela and we are, of course, generalising. People with a good work ethic may well go to Germany but I suspect we will get more of our fair share of the others here in the UK.

22:45 PM, 18th May 2012
About 8 years ago

It would be interesting if there was a table that could be compiled of how each EU country qualifies an EU immigrant for benefit and for how much.
they may receive.I must admit Germany seems the best EU country to migrate to for opportunity.
Problem is not many Germans speak Greek and not many Greeks speak German;  but most Greeks and Germans who travel probably speak English.
Hence the attraction of the UK to English speaking Greeks.
There is a large population of Greeks in East London and most will have some form of social contact with family in the 'old country'.
The migrants will be put up  until they have qualified for UK benefits and then they are sorted.
I expect to see a massive influx of Greeks to the UK.
Most will be very well qualified and probably will find employment opportunities in the UK.
The sorts of jobs they might do will not be the low wage jobs that Eastern European migrants end up doing and consequently the Greeks will not be taking jobs that UK unemployed should be doing.
Professional young Greeks could well be a benefit to the UK and of course they will all need somewhere to rent eventually!!!!

22:37 PM, 18th May 2012
About 8 years ago

We will see. Many Greeks are applying for visas in the US and Australia.

BTW - Between 1960 and 1990 there were 1 million Greeks in Germany. Many went back to Greece and the Greek population is now around 3-400,000 in Germany, the same size as the Greek population in the UK.

11:32 AM, 19th May 2012
About 8 years ago

I think you are probably correct in suggesting that Greeks will tend to gravitate to where there are already substantial ex-pat communities.
Germany,  UK etc
There would be an immediate support network for them. from that community.
It is the young people that will come here as Greece won't recover for decades from it's last 15 years of spending madness.
This will drain the lifeblood out of the Greek economy and Greece's decline will be a self fulfilling prohecy.
It may become the holiday destination of choice as it willl be so cheap.
This is probably the only way Greece will recover; via cheap tourism.
Wonder how many people kept hold of old drachma coinage!!!
These southern mediteraneanshould never have bben allowed to join the eoro; but of course it was all a political stitch-up which has been proven not to work.
The cultural differences are too many and for it even to possibly work like the US dollar, you need one central bank and 1 bank governor.
Europe is too disparate for the populations ever to accept such a proposition.
A Greek worker will never successfully compete with a German worker, that is just a fact of life.
To have tried to shoe-horn such an easy-going culture as the Greeks into the work mindset of Germany was never going to work..
Polititicians just need to accept the differences in cultures are so different that a single currency and political union will nerver work.
The whole Euroland experiment should be undone and we should go back to the nation states where each state exploits it's advantages and profits from it.
The free movement of labour would be stopped, reverting to a Visa system.
Border controls should be reintroduced.
Do away with the whole Brussels edifice
There should be some sort of loose trading area which was the whole point of the common market.
When I voted yes in the 70's for that I did not vote for free movement of labour and a common currency.


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