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Sweden’s Job Market Attracts Educated Greeks

The deep financial crisis in Europe has led to more Greek citizens arriving in Sweden to seek employment, with twice as many coming in 2011 compared to the year before, a Swedish newspaper reported, citing figures from the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket.)

”We have a lack of engineers here; there are not enough university-trained engineers in Sweden to cover the demand,” Peter Karancsi, of the European Job Mobility Portal EURES told Sveriges Radio (SR,) which added that nearly 100 Greek physicians have received licenses in Sweden so far this year, more than from any other European Union country outside Scandinavia.

“I have a better chance for getting a job here than in Greece,” electrical engineer Charis Katsakakis, just arrived from Athens, told the broadcaster. And despite being a recent graduate and not knowing any Swedish, his prospects of finding work in Sweden are good, Karancsi told SR. “Many of the larger Swedish companies have trainee-schemes and also recruit for the future and there is a great chance of being accepted to these, even if you don’t speak fluent Swedish,“ he told SR.

However, for those without specialized knowledge, the situation is quite different. “Everything felt hopeless in Greece, but it is no better here. And then I’d rather go home,” Vladimiros Pavlides, 25, told SR. He came to Sweden last autumn but has so far only managed to find a part-time job as a cleaner. According to SR, the free movement over EU borders makes little difference when the labor market climate for those without specialized expertise is a lot tougher.


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