Wednesday, 2 June 2010

ALBANIA: Hard times in Greece prompt Albanians to return home

Albania (Reuters) - After the fall of Communism two decades ago, Greece became a promised land for hundreds of thousands of Albanians, a place to make a new start after generations of grinding poverty.


But the gold rush has waned and many migrants are now finding themselves to be the first victims of the Greek financial crisis. Some see better economic prospects in Albania and are tempted to return home for good.

"I have never seen the economy so bad," said Agim Aliaj, a 48-year-old house painter who returned to Albania in March, after failing to find regular work in Greece for months.

"It has been impossible for me to send money home for a year and a half. Their problems will affect us, too, very hard."

Albanians are by far the largest groups of foreign workers in Greece, estimated at 650,000 to 800,000, and have been among the first to feel the current turmoil. Read more

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