Greece: migrants save more, borrow less

  Economic migrants to Greece save on average twice as much of their incomes as do locals, a series of studies by commercial banks has found.
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The average balance of a migrant’s deposit account stands at about 15,000 euros, compared to 8,000 for a Greek’s account. Economic migrants currently have about 250,000 bank accounts, with total deposits estimated at 3-4 billion euros.

Albanian migrants alone send about 400 million euros to Albania (9 percent of the country’s GDP) in remittances.

Despite the fact that migrants have a lighter debt burden than the native population, they have started using credit for housing and cars. Banks see in migrants a market with great potential for growth.

There are about 1.1 million economic migrants in Greece, comprising over 12 percent of the labor force. The majority (57.5 percent) are Albanian. It is estimated that 75 percent of migrant households have a telephone and one in five own a car. Average household income is estimated at 12,000 euros, higher than Greeks declare in their tax statements.

Kathimerini, 24.09.2005

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