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Tuesday
May012012

In Greece, Corruption Causes A Brain Drain

Bad money always drives out good money. But does graft also drive out a country's brightest people?

A terrific article posted today at CNBC takes a look at the brain drain happening now in Greece. It was written by Katy Barnato, an assistant editor based in London.

Part of the problem, Barnato said, is the swollen bureaucracy and local graft.

'I don’t like how accounting works in Greece,' 27-year-old Eneida Zaka told Barnato. 'There is a lot of corruption, even in public organizations… Everywhere in the world there is corruption, but not like in Greece. The system makes you a little bit illegal.'

Greece is perceived as Europe's most corrupt country, based on TI's corruption perceptions index.

Ninety-eight percent of Greeks believe corruption is a major problem in their country and 88% think bribery is part of the business culture, according to another TI study.

Ms. Zaka said she now hopes to find work in England, Germany, or France. 'I believe the whole system works much better in these countries than in Greece.'

A survey of 2,200 university-educated Greeks who have worked abroad for a year or more 'found the majority (74 percent) held at least two degrees, while 51 percent also held a doctorate or PhD,' according to CNBC.

'Political and social analysts fear the long-term impact Greece may suffer from losing its brightest and best qualified citizens,' Barnato wrote. 

Katy Barnato's 'Greece's Young and Bright Flee Crisis and Corruption' is here.

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