Another Nail In The Greek Coffin: Cheap, Migrant Workers Are Now Returning Home To Albania

Tyler Durden's picture

Four months ago we presented what was easily the clearest and most undiluted by media propaganda clue about the future of the European experiment, when we noted that even immigrants from places such as Afghanistan and Bangladesh, using Greece as a stepping stone onward to the gateway Shengen country of Italy, no longer have the urge to pursue their European dreams, and instead return home. As Art Cashin explained, "Over the decades, immigrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and other poor nations would work their way to Patras. They would stay for days or weeks awaiting a chance to smuggle themselves on to a freighter headed for Italy. Once there, they could make their way north into Europe to find hope and opportunity and maybe a job. Last week his relatives told him that things were changing. The immigrants still come to their way station of Patras (hope still blooms). But now, after a couple of weeks in Greece, they are trying to hop ships going the other way. They are going back home. Life was better, or at least no worse, where they came from and they had friends and family for support back there." It appears that the immigrant boycott is spreading, only this time instead of "discretionary" immigrants, or those that have not been fully assumed by society (think "cheap labor" along America's south, such as California, Texas and Arizona), it is starting to hit the core of the cheap PIIGS labor force: the migrant workforce, and in this case the Albanian diaspora working out of Greece at a fraction of the normal cost. And as one Albanian migrant worker, so critical to keeping the Greek construction sector supplied with cheap jobs puts it, "It looks like there's no money left," he said of Greece. "It all dried up." As a result even the Greek illegal-yet-symbiotic-aliens are giving up and going back home. Yes folks: the "indicators" on the ground are telling us that it is now easier to make money in Albania than in Greece.

More from Athens News:

As the world watches Greeks trying to cope with rising unemployment, tax hikes and plummeting salaries, a silent community of hundreds of thousands of Albanians – 60 percent of the migrant workforce in Greece – is weighing up its future.


Many face a stark choice: return to the impoverished country they left behind and try to start anew, or stick it out and face the threat of drifting into illegality in the crisis-hit country they made home.


Many thousands of Albanians have made the journey home, seeking the security of family networks but bringing with them children born and raised abroad for whom Albania is a strange land.

So aside from labor costs about to spike as employers have no choice but to hire local workers, not used to below minimum wage salaries, and thus margins to go even more negative (we leave it up to our readers to calculate what this means for government tax revenues), this latest unpredicted consequence means that sources of migrant labor into Europe will see far less cash transfers (usually via Western Union equivalents) in the future, and further slow down the velocity of money there where it is most needed: placed that do not have access to the ECB's perpetual crap collateral acceptance facilities.

With the crisis in Greece and Italy – another hotspot for Albanian migrants – showing no sign of abating soon, questions are being asked about the wisdom of Albania relying so much on remittances to support growth, and whether a wave of returning migrants could be a boon or a burden.


The country is one of Europe's poorest, suffering from the ripple effect of the sovereign debt crisis in the euro zone and particularly its main trading partners and investors, Greece and Italy.


Remittances from Albanians working abroad have halved since 2007, when 951m euros accounted for 10 percent of Albania's gross domestic product (GDP).

But who really cares about Albania: no crude to be liberated, no World Bank "projects" to be funded, no massive credit boom to be incepted: it is an F-grade actor in the globalization play at best. What people probably still do care about is the myth that is Greek GDP. And with a core support pillar - cheap labor - about to be yanked, that number is about to slide even more (if that is indeed possible).

The construction sector, where many Albanians make their start, has culled almost half its workforce, down to just 240,000 last year from around 400,000 in 2008.


The number of migrant residence permits issued has fallen by 20 percent annually since the crisis began, Triandafyllidou said.


Migrants can lose their legal status if they are jobless for long periods. Many are forced to accept work for lower pay or without social security benefits.


"What many migrants suffer from now is 'de-legalisation', which is tragic," said Triandafyllidou.


"People who have been here for more than 10 years, just because their stay was interrupted or they didn't manage to get their 10-year permit in time are left high and dry," she said.

It is unclear if Apple has a manufacturing facility in Crete. What is clear is that Foxconn workers and Albanian migrant laborers, have roughly the same arsenal in expressing their views on the world:

On Thursday, police on Crete said a 38-year-old Albanian man killed himself when he jumped from the roof of a building.


The motive was not known, but a police official who declined to be named said the Albanian father of two had been living in Greece for 15 years, and had recently been looking for work in Albania, without success.


It came a day after 77-year-old retired pharmacist Dimitris Christoulasa shot himself in the head on Syntagma Square, leaving hand-written notes saying he would rather die than scavenge for food.


With an official unemployment rate of around 13.4 percent, Albania is poorly placed to absorb returning migrants looking for work.

And while the increasing possibility of wage parity between China and the US is all the rage these days, it has already taken place between Albania and Greece:

"Here I get 800 leks per day [about 5 euros], which is what I was paid per hour in Greece," said Florenca Sulollari, who found work on a textile factory line in her native Korce last year after losing a similar job in Greece.


Greece's troubles followed her. The textile industry once boomed thanks to orders from Greece but is now struggling to stay afloat.


Greek companies account for more than 40 percent of foreign investment in Albania, but the Greit company that Sulollari works for has cut back its workforce to 67 from 350 in 2006 as orders from Greece evaporate.


"Under stress," replied the company's Greek owner, Panajotis Kaglatzis, when asked how he was faring. "I'm fighting here, and I'm not sure I'll get the money."

While as noted above few will shed a tear over the plight of Albanian labor as its ecosystem is terminally inverted courtesy of the implosion in the Greek economy, how long before comparable secondary derivative developments impact the Turkish gastarbeiter population in Germany, or Maghrebians in France? How long before forced wage reduction eliminates the only source of natural population growth, and kills off all sources of cheap labor? And what happens when the youth of Europe's neighbors returns with no hope or prospects? How long before the Arabian spring resurfaces with a vengeance?

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Death and Gravity's picture

Just the same is happening in Gods Own Country.

Pladizow's picture

Indians did the same in Dubai, leaving airport parking lots full of cars they would never return to.


Badabing's picture

They can always deal hash

theMAXILOPEZpsycho's picture

...and what if all the young people just up and leave as well?

all the qualified ones: doctors, nurses, pharmacists, engineers, accountants should be able to leave the EU entirely. The rest can be cleaners or waiters in london or berlin

then the greek baby boomers and pensioners will sure have fun demanding payouts from someone!

smiler03's picture


1. Why you shouldn't believe everything you read on Zerohedge.

2. Remember "Stellar Wind"? It's that new huge facility in Utah to spy on you.

3. Those posts by theMAXILOPEZpsycho in which so many of you believe has also posted the following over the last eleven months. Now decide if you believe him. I hope you find them as amusing as I have ;O)


27/05/11 - [first ever post] Good luck to you, sir! I wish we had guns here in europe.

28/05/11 - I'm from the uk  

29/05/11 - You said it, bro. I have a feeling I'd get laid more too.

30/05/11 - Well with the sheer size of my pecker I deserve 2 russian blonds! heck maybe I deserve one more for my ball sack!

01/06/11 - 10oz of silver says I can go to a bar and convince a (preferably greek) chick that I'm "annoymous" and get her to sleep with me...

01/06/11 - [On Turkey] the chicks are hot

13/06/11 - I'll knock on the door of a suburban housewife and threaten her with a baseball bat

13/06/11 - As for the prostitution game, there will be a rush of young girls onto the markt thats for sure. 

13/06/11 - Good for you! I hope you buy a house with the gold coin and several women with your silver!

14/06/11 - I'm so bullish my dick is bulging outa my pants and touching the screen.

14/06/11 - I actually feel like a bull that needs to go out and impregnate a mare

15/06/11 - imagine wen she's starving and I've got all that silver! Then she'd have to pay attention to me!! hahahaha!

15/06/11 - I think we've already agreed on a greek brothel, no?

16/06/11 - true, if you've gone more than 2 months without, pay a visit to a brothel - even at the expense of buying bullion

16/06/11 - yeh but at least I'll be turning high class whores every night

23/06/11 - Greek chicks are far hotter

02/07/11 - [On the Strauss-Kahn NY Case] my money money says she'd hardly be worth raping, other than for the power buzz of course

18/07/11 - [on providing for relatives] I'd rather visit a high class brothel than pay for their health care.

19/07/11 - Holy Cow I'd love to bang that saucy bitch questioning him now! Hot posh totty

02/08/11 - but I'm poor; I left university last year and this has been my first year working a non-minimum wage job.

21/08/11 - however, I'd love to fuck sarah palin!

22/08/11 - I will soon delete my facebook account, but am currently addicted to sexuallh harrassing severl females.

22/08/11 - Thrown out and banned from the swiming bathes for (how can I help it??) getting an errection while in the vicinity of teenage girls.

23/08/11 - I like my Milfs as much as the next man, but 55 is the upper limit for me

23/08/11 - I propose you hand over your cute little 17 year old niece to me and I'll give her the fritzel treatment! 

23/08/11 - lets see who ends up richer, yank - don't you know the rest of the world don't agree that customers should pay the servers wages

24/08/11 - Belgians are hot sure  

24/08/11 - I consider women from the south of france to be more attractive

24/08/11 - Also polish, lithuanian, and greek babes.

24/08/11 - Greek babes are the most under-rated in europe IMHO.

24/08/11 - Like others have been saying thats where I'll be heading to open up my brothel 

15/09/11 - I'm from London, 28 years old, and told constantly I'm middle class.

17/09/11 - I'd fuck her

17/09/11 - you'll be allowed into my secret underground brothel right in the heart of athens

19/09/11 - No, what we need is just for government to shrink away and stop trying to control money

20/09/11 - Open offer to Japanese school girls: you can live in my basement for free 

20/09/11 - Slovenia has some of the hottest chicks in the world.

20/09/11 - ..if anyone's thinking of opening a brothel with bullion profits (as I am)

28/09/11 - European Women vs American women...hmmm...tough one..

18/10/11 - my decision not to go to university and face the derision of my peers and parents sure looks fine and dandy now.

27/10/11 - However the problem with trying to kill an american is even if you shoot them temple to temple you'll be lucky to hit any brain

29/10/11 - [referring to MDB] Best "troll" ever...his material is classic, worthy of a book I'd say

02/11/11 - I thought that was why americans are thought of as stupid by the British

02/11/11 - I'm sure she'd be in ecstacy as I ejaculated right into her after a full minute and a half!

02/11/11 - yes rollercosters are especially good if you have a thai prostitute jerking you off while you're riding

16/11/11 - I have 800 oz of silver and 7 oz gold...Im young and poor

17/11/11 - And hot young protester pussy too! the city is where its at

18/11/11 - Im certain MillionDollorBonus is an economics major or ex economics major thats the only place where you get material of this quality

22/11/11 - I know Im just not as good as milliondollarbonus...

03/12/11 - Eat, drink, be merry...make regular visits to mid-level brothels too

12/12/11 - Hail Cameron the brave! Finally showing some of that Churchill style Bulldog spirit!

23/12/11 - Iranian women are babes...we need to liberate them so us westerners get a proper fair crack at them

26/12/11 - Does this mean I'll get laid even less?!?!?!?!

01/01/12 - My vote goes to MillionDollarBonus!!!!!

05/01/12 - I work for an EU council and can tell you the damage a downgrade by those predetory rating agencies would lead to unmitigated disaster.

05/01/12 - I work for the government regulaiting small industries. 

05/01/12 - I also have a significant amount of my portfolio in soverign debt

05/01/12 - you may laugh, but Russia has some of the finest women in the world! 

06/01/12 - [referring to mimicking MDB posts] don't make them too good or you double wrong foot people...if you catch my drift

17/01/12 - For the love of God! Imagine the US, if one state is in trouble the others help!

17/01/12 - [Europe] Otherwise standards of living will plummet in southern countries and the north will be left too strong.

17/01/12 - [from redpill immediately after the above post] MDB is that you?

19/01/12 - [referring to Pippa Middleton (some royal dork)] I wanna fuck Pipa's ass so bad

03/02/12 - Jessica Alba bent over a table saying give it to me baby?? Worth an ounce of silver at least

05/02/12 - This week I earned my salery by gaining circa 3000 dollars by imposing fines on unregulated market stalls.

06/02/12 - On my day off last Saturday I saw a teenager selling hot dogs in the street.

07/02/12 - I posted yesterday how I truely believed in the greek recovery and I was mocked, insulted. 

22/02/12 - Keeping my powder dry for 1000% Then I'll be all in on Greece, with my coffee shop due to open next month as well

27/02/12 - [referring to Ag price] Get your facts in order before you come on here trying to make yourself feel better about your infirior dna

08/03/12 - Ok I get I won't make anything but I get to mess up the banks right?

15/03/12 - [referring to Madrid] you can find a decent puta [prostitute] for about 50 euros though

16/03/12 - more importantly 99% of people are absolute morons

21/03/12 - do hookers count? If so Im closing in on your ass

22/03/12 - Really if I was an american I'd be looking to get out of the US - the civil liberties there are appalling

24/03/12 - I'm currently looking at buying properties in greece via a fund with a major investment bank

29/03/12 - [referring to German Rail Toilets] just piss on the station outside...don't ever pay to piss or shit

31/03/12 - [on apathy] keep going for pussy and beer

01/04/12 - [referring to "Adult Fried Finder Nasdaq: FFN] don't knock it...I got laid twice thanks to that site. One was amazing!

07/04/12 - I've worked hard to get a good college degree. 

07/04/12 - it was through my campaigning for the president that I got my current job.

07/04/12 - Now there's talk of me going to europe to spend some time working in Brussels.



theMAXILOPEZpsycho's picture

It feels lovely to be appreciated! I was starting to think all my hard work might have gone unnoticed!

prole's picture

Those are some gems MAX tks for the lulz!!

theMAXILOPEZpsycho's picture

hold on where did you get all those posts from? did you copy and paste as you were going along?

One is truly flattered!

smiler03's picture

It was a slow news day! Once I started I couldn't stop ;O)

edit: Your Au & Ag predictions have a pretty good track record.

sessinpo's picture

smiler03                                2329016        

1. Why you shouldn't believe everything you read on Zerohedge.

2. Remember "Stellar Wind"? It's that new huge facility in Utah to spy on you.



I'm not going to copy and paste your entire thread before you can change it. Total waste of time and space. I have, however, pasted your comment on "Stellar Wind."

I suggest you do due diligence before posting to specifically attack others. I could really careless what Max posts. When I see any information of interest, I investigate it on my own. EVERYONE here should.

So for your convienence, here are several sources that make you look silly.

NSA Utah ‘Data Center’: Biggest-ever domestic spying lab?

The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)


I only post on this because big government is a pet peeve of mine and is something I watch regularly.

smiler03's picture

I looked at several links to find the name and location of the big NSA project. One I used was which references the same www, article you linked. I was making a subtle (too subtle perhaps) link to the fact that I posted a large number of rather ludicrous posts from one troll, it's as if I used a spying database to dig out some history which has been logged. No? Never mind.

What due diligence didn't I do? I read every single one of his comments ever posted by him.

"When I see any information of interest, I investigate it on my own. EVERYONE here should."

I agree totally, which is exactly why I did it. The thing is is that far from "everyone" reads the background of a poster before believing him. Like MDB he has started to cause huge number of posts by people who think he's really working for the US Government. Entire threads go on page after page after page. So many readers just don't understand sarcasm and they fall for it, they get really irate and waste their own time by responding to him, "feeding the troll".

Big Government is a peeve of mine too. We have our equivalent of your NSA project going on in the UK too. Hopefully it looks like the proposals will be scaled back a bit (if we can believe what we're told).

Regards :O)

sessinpo's picture

smiler03           2329308

What due diligence didn't I do? I read every single one of his comments ever posted by him.



Well, from the lengthy transcript you posted, you obviously read a lot of his comments. No one is 100% right all of the time. Pick and choose your arguments and you are more likely to win. My posting is an example. You specifically mentioned Stellar Wind as if no such facility exists. Well it does. Does it have the capability some suggest? Only time will tell but the facility does exist.


Don't get wrapped up into individual posters to much. You'll find yourself spinning your wheels getting nowhere. I say this from experience. I've debated several things and posted sources that no one was able to refute. You just get personal attacks. THOSE ARE THE REAL TROLLS. Non professional, post only on emotion, non factual, no sources. Trolls are best dealt with by ignoring them. They just want attention - want to feel important which is why they are inflammatory. Everyone I've debated, including those Ron Paul supporters, I've thrashed on facts and thoughtful posts which I find funny since I support most of Ron Paul's thoughts. But the responses I got were awful and turned more people OFF of Ron Paul, which is unfortunate. They did more harm than good because they were acting like trolls. So I just moved on. They made themselves look bad and by the way, I ended up being right about Ron Paul. Oh well, I call em as I see em.


smiler03's picture

Hi again sessinpo,

"Remember "Stellar Wind"? It's that new huge facility in Utah to spy on you."

This was not at all intended to suggest that the project doesn't exist, quite the contrary, I don't understand how you construed that. I could have posted a link to the "research" I did (one was identical to yours remember) but felt no need to as it was covered very recently by ZH and would be familiar to most ZH readers.

"THOSE ARE THE REAL TROLLS. Non professional, post only on emotion, non factual, no sources."

Agreed 100%, it's the single most thing that often puts me off from reading comments. I end up just reading the article. When accurate posts are made, and sourced, people still get downvoted by others just because they don't like the facts. This always strikes me as odd but I've learned not to jump in, in support, because you just get junked yourself. I must have more than a 100 times started writing a comment and then think better of it and not post at all.

By the way, if I saw a post the length of mine then I would've automatically junked it and probably not read it so we agree on that too.

Cheers ;O)

silverserfer's picture

so would you rather China and Russia own your ass or USA? Theyre doing it too. Would you rather live in a country that is dumb and blind or capable of defending itself? The world is big there are other elements more dangerous than big brother.

prole's picture

The world is big there are other elements more dangerous than big brother.

Like Stupidity?

I would rather live in a country that is FREE, FREE, FREE

Larry the Cable guy and a few of his deer-hunting buddies can "defend this country" the rest is slavery, your post is stupidity and slavery

slewie the pi-rat's picture

look at the timestamps, sess_0:  he couldn't change his post after someone replied to it

WAY before your shitheaded comment about "not bothering to copy it b4 he changed it"

how long have you been doing shit like this, here?  or are you really that fuking styoopid?

Marc_W's picture

Good analysis, good job.  I'm sure some part of the fascist intelligence apparatus in the Anglosphere has a job for your profilng dissidents.


This is why I change accounts every 4 to 8 weeks on Zero Hedge.  Less data to mine.  Bitchez.

smiler03's picture

LOL! Is that you Trav?

Just kidding. It is scary that every post you ever make on ZH is logged for all to see. I've made plenty of posts and regretted making them. Perhaps I can reincarnate myself as smiler04. I wonder if people would notice?


Buck Johnson's picture

It wasn't just indians, in fact they where mostly expatriates from europe and the US.  Because if you can't pay your debt in those countries your arrested and imprisoned until you can.

You have to read this one this will tell how bad it really was and still is.

duo's picture

The busiest maternity ward in the US is (was) Parkland Hospital in Dallas.  I believe 20,000 deliveries in a good year, a single digit percentage are insured (nearly all illegals).  The county decided to build a new hospital.  The design was a giant maternity ward and ER, with a hospital attached.  Between when the architects drew it up and today, the birth rate is down to half.

Our neighborhood landscape guy would like to go back to southern Mexico where his family is, but he would rather keep his head attached to his body.

Oracle of Kypseli's picture

Incidentally, the Greek gov had passed a law that all Albanian illegals that wanted to repatriate, will get reibursed for the transportation of all their aquired belongings. In thei infinite wisdom of central planning, the albanians called their bluff and left with all their belongings, including electrodomestics. Then they sold everything at a profit and crossed the border back to Greece again.

Central Planning at its best.

macholatte's picture


A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
Douglas Adams

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Duo, Parkland is broke and probably the worst hospital in Dallas now. Thank you US medical care!

Madrid2020's picture

Proof that every cloud,indeed,has a silver lining:now perhaps all those unwanted Moroccans,Africans and Equidorians will leave Spain!


digitlman's picture

Albania!  Albania!  You border on the Adriatic!

Arius's picture

thats the slavic dream ... alabania is the star in the shield of ottoman empire ... all the dead man are coming back from the graves ... got to kill them again!

Catch-22's picture

"Albania!  Albania!  You border on the Adriatic!"

Is that you coach? Say Hi to Sam and Woody...

Troll Magnet's picture

maybe we can export some of our own college grads to greece!  

UP Forester's picture

We did.  The problem is, they all went to Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Columbia, majored in Economics, and worked for either Goldman, JPMorgan, or the Fed.

In other words, educated above their abilities and no real work experience, much like the majority of university professors....

The Disappointed's picture

I'll go to Greece! I always wanted to see the Elgin Marbles.

Oh wait. The British stole them. They are in the British Museum. Aren't they?

battle axe's picture

If you have to go back to Albania, then you know that the shit has not just hit the fan but the fan has also blown up. 

FeralSerf's picture

Albania's not very prosperous (unless your business involves ciggie smuggling, drugs or some other CIA/Mossad enterprise), but the cost of living is very low, much cheaper than Greece.  Food and rent are cheap.  It's still not as bad as it was when Enver was running the show.   The same thing is happening in the southwest US as Mexicans that formerly had jobs in construction are returning home to their families.

Winston Churchill's picture

Wait until the Greeks and Italians want to emigrate to Albania.


Madrid2020's picture

That would be like someone from Vermont going to Mississippi

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

Mexicans in US. Learn from your Albania cohort. Go home!

GeneMarchbanks's picture

'Yes folks: the "indicators" on the ground are telling us that it is now easier to make money in Albania than in Greece.'

Yeah, not sure about that. Certainly the gap is closing... fast, but 'easier to make money' is a vague notion, not to mention the FX argument.

icanhasbailout's picture

well, there's always the imputed price of putting up with greeks


ekm's picture

There will not  be an Albanian spring. It's not in their mentality.

They will all go from Greece to Germany.

GeneMarchbanks's picture

Spoken like a real Albanian.

ekm's picture


I chose to go to Canada, arrived in 1999. Still here in Toronto.

Catch-22's picture

Good for you, you should do well there…


They like minorities in Kanada. They like to make their visible minorities… very visible. It makes them look so opened minded, so worldly, so politically correct…

But Fuck you if you are born there… I left in ’96.

An add for a government job in Ontario, the year before I left, actually said; “white male need not apply”!!!

Also, what ever you dabble in, they will skyrocket you to the top (whether you’re qualified or not) and you can delegate your work to someone under you with greater credentials, and make you look good…

Many here on ZH disses the US but, take my word for it, the US is like capitalism; it’s not perfect but it’s the best we have. 


ekm's picture

Not born in Canada, but you make some very good points that I cannot disagree with.