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Crisis drives students from struggling Eurozone countries away from home

By River Reporter Dec 6, 2012

Konstantinos Lianos

Almost 80 per cent of KU students coming from European countries with struggling economies are not planning to return home, a survey revealed.

Portuguese, Italian, Greek and Spanish students were asked by The River if they are planning to return to their respective countries after the end of their degree and 77.9 per cent of them gave a negative answer.

Financial situation listed as top reason to not return to home country

More than 65 per cent of the students said it was the financial situation which drives them away from their countries.

“I came here because I chose to and I will stay here because I have to,” said Alexandros Geromoschos, 27, a Greek law student. “If I go back I will find a dead end.

“How can people in my age start a new life and pay rent and bills with a minimum wage of €500 (£450.5) a month? It’s not possible. Mathematically, it’s not affordable. Nowadays living in Greece is more of a nightmare rather than a dream.”

Economics Professor Engelbert Stockhammer said that the austerity measures are “strangulating” Greece which, in his view, could lead the country out of the Eurozone because of desperation.

No hope for jobs in home countries for some students

Daniel Panizo, 21, a Spanish exchange student studying economics, said the financial situation is pulling him away from Spain.

“Finding a job there is going to be really hard,” he said. “The best thing every student can do now is to leave and try to find any job anywhere else. Almost all young Spaniards have the feeling of being manipulated.”

An overwhelming 90.6 per cent of students agree that the Eurozone crisis will not be solved soon and 54.3 per cent said they are planning to stay in the UK.

“I’ll have more opportunities if I stay in England or go to another country,” said Madalena Castro Almeida, 20, a Portuguese media and international relations student. “Everyone is leaving. Everyone is trying to save themselves.”

Students happy to return home if financial situation improves

Irene Ceccanti, 21, an Italian media and international relations student, said she would gladly return to Rome if the situation was better.

“I’m really scared. I want to go home in a few years but I don’t think I am going to be able to,” she said. “It’s really hard to get a job even with any kind of higher education qualification.”

According to Eurostat, youth unemployment in Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy is on 55.4, 52.9, 36.6 and 34.5 per cent respectively.  

Survey showed a participation of 17 Portuguese and Italian along with 44 Greek and 18 Spanish students. 

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