Greece will find it extremely difficult to stem the brain drain – wrought by seven years of economic depression – without improvement of the economic climate and without targeted actions, Central Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras told an audience celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Fulbright Foundation in Greece.
One significant initiative that he proposed is the creation centres of excellence that could attract a critical mass of scientists, other academics and researchers.
If they develop effectively, such centres can attain international recognition in the academic and business communities and constitute a magnet to attract the best and the brightest, Stournaras suggested.
He proposed the creation of structures favouring mobility that would facilitate brain circulation, a term denoting high-skilled immigration that increasingly benefits both sides.
Stournaras noted that at the current juncture one sees a reduction of available human resources in Greece in the fields of science and technology, as budget cutbacks in the fields of education and research have led many researchers to opt for early retirement, which many young scientists have simply fled the country.
According to a study conducted by the Bank of Greece, between 2008-2013, about 223,000 young people between 25-39 years of age who were permanent residents of Greece left the country in search of better wages and prospects.
In the same period, the total number of citizens who left the country was 427,000.
“A better understanding of economic issues leads to broader public support for necessary economic measures, thus combating the scourge of populism, which today constitutes one of the main problems of democracy internationally. Such understanding ensures viable public finances and bolsters the effectiveness