Even with the shadow of political instability and social turbulence caused by the economic crisis Greece enjoys a higher standard of living for middle class people compared to other countries. Although hit with all these problems new opportunities arise for those smart enough to spot them.
There are a number of positives and negatives on the prospects of moving to Greece at the moment. This will all be affected by who you are and what it is you are looking for and below is a closer look at both sides of the argument.
A Language Barrier
The Greek language is the first thing anyone looking to move to Greece should look at. It is very tricky to learn Greek and harder to master. Luckily for most a large amount of the population speak English, to some degree, and most shops will have English price tags, which makes things simple. More help comes in the shape of the road signs which are in English as well as Greek. With all this help there is not a huge need to learn the language, but not having the ability to speak Greek will peg you out as a foreigner.
Reception To Expats
The benefits brought by tourism have led to Greek people being very friendly towards expats, although this can very quickly change if a Greek see’s you as competition for a job position they want.
Thanks to the economic crisis unemployment is at an all time high since WWII, and Greek people are not happy about it. Can you guess where they aim their anger? Any foreigner looking to compete for a job will be treated with animosity. This has resulted in employers looking to hire locals rather than foreigners, even when qualifications are inferior. This is as much to help their own and save face as anything else.
Most problems can be solved if you pay attention to the point above and ensure you can speak the language at least moderately.
As mentioned above with unemployment at an all time high and jobs being handed to locals over fully qualified expats, it isn't looking hopeful. Even jobs normally expected to be taken by expats, such as language teaching jobs are in short supply.
On the other hand Greece can be welcoming towards those who are looking to work in their own internet business. Expats can survive in Greece so long as they do not rely upon the Greek market. Greeks only represent one in 700 of the global population so if you stick to Greece you will be missing out on the other 699.
The prices of houses have plummeted since 2008 with some losing as much as 50%, and in extreme cases even more. This trend is expected to continue and if you make a purchase on a house now it could depreciate in value by another 10% over the next few years. All will depend on when and if the crisis is resolved, as this will lead the prices to skyrocket and could well be a smart investment. You just have to ask yourself whether you want to take the risk?
Cost Of Living
With the crisis the cost of living has slowly been on the increase thanks to heavier taxes, increased electricity bills and hiring of prices on daily commodities. This high cost of living can be offset by the low house prices, and someone moving from the UK will find many things far cheaper than at home.
So, is it worth it? Right now it seems that if you are in a job where you don't rely on the Greek market, such as an internet business, or if you feel you can manage the constant strikes and lack of conventional jobs and possibly even enjoy the unpredictability of life in Greece at the moment, then this move could be for you.