ekathimerini wrote:Greece to offer tax breaks to woo 'digital migrants'
It has been more than four years since Nikos Dimitriou, a video game designer employed by a UK-based company, moved to Greece while continuing to work from Athens for his employer some 2,400 kilometers away. He has not repented it.
"Moving to Greece with distance working thanks to the internet made sense then, and still does," he told Xinhua late last week.
He is one of the thousands of young Greeks who chose to leave their country when the financial crisis erupted in the early 2010s to find a job abroad. He is now a digital migrant, as he has moved back to Greece, while still working for his British employer.
"Digital migrant" is the term Greek government officials use to describe a person - foreigner or Greek based abroad - who decides to move to Greece and work remotely for a company or clients based in other countries, thanks to the expansion of teleworking.
Athens wants to see many more professionals like Dimitriou, Greek or non-Greek, relocate to Greece and is offering a major tax incentive to them.
"The pandemic has shown it is possible in many cases for one to choose where to live and work thanks to technology. We can have digital migrants," Alex Patelis, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' chief economic advisor stated on Wednesday. He said the government intends to grant a 50% income tax cut for the first seven years to those "digital migrants" who move to Greece next year.
Alternate Finance Minister Theodoros Skylakakis was more elaborate recently, stating that "people could come from abroad and work from Greece even if the company that employs them is based in another country. Greece's favorable climate and low property prices in comparison with other European countries, as well as the relatively successful management of the coronavirus pandemic have laid the groundwork for this."
Anastasia Georgopoulou is a Greek professional who returned to Athens five years ago after living in the UK for half a decade. She works remotely as a product curator for a British e-commerce company. "It's the best of both worlds, really. It proved to be a great decision," she told Xinhua.
"There is definitely no going back," said Georgopoulou, adding that "we may make less money from here, but it is definitely worth living in Greece, the quality of life is unparalleled and the expenses are far lower than living abroad."
My family originates from a little island in Greece that has about 2000 registered citizens(including myself and all those living abroad) and about 400 permanent residents. This year due to Covid-19, the permanent residents have doubled nearly to 800 with several younger people from the US & Europe opting to lockdown in the island and work digitally. I thought about it as well and one of my best friends from Brussels who keeps a summer house there tried to convince me to follow him there. He is there as we speak.
I cannot imagine any better place in the world to spend once's life inside, Greek scenery is like living inside a fairytale, when combined with the extreme liberalism of Greek social culture that is totally unhinged, open, overtly sexual and the food it just becomes bliss. I moved to the UK as a university student because I did not want to be constrained by Greece's provincialism back then, now in my mid-thirties with 3 children my wife has been begging me to move back. If more people move back and there is the ability to maintain an enhanced social circle in remote islands like my own then I will seriously consider that option. I am a very sociable person, have always been and need peers around me. After 17 years in Cambridge my social circle is very important to me.
...take your common sense with you, and leave your prejudices behind...