What changes for thousands of Greeks who work and study in...

What changes for thousands of Greeks who work and study in...
What changes for thousands of Greeks who work and study in...

If the EU converges on something? and the United Kingdom is their inflexibility that has so far prevented an agreement on Brexit terms. It does not matter that the EU chief negotiator refuses to make any predictions about the outcome of this tough bra de fer.

The three main thorns are the conditions of competition, the access of EU fishermen in British waters and how to control the implementation of any agreement. The EU essentially calls on London to commit indefinitely to the rules it will lay down. Boris Johnson has reiterated in all tones that Britain will leave the EU irrevocably on December 31, most likely without shaking hands with Brussels. London negotiators are still trying to bridge the gap between the two sides, but “ending the transition period without such an agreement remains the most likely outcome,” according to a statement from the British prime minister’s spokesman.

With or without an agreement, Brexit triggers developments in a set of issues that affect Greece as well. The effects are inevitable and are expected to affect almost many sectors of the economy, including exports, tourism and the financial sector.

The disturbance of the monetary exchange rate with the strengthening of the euro against the pound sterling makes Greek exportable products more expensive and therefore less competitive. Greek exports to the United Kingdom reach 2.5 billion euros annually, corresponding to 1.4% of GDP and mainly concern food, fresh and standardized.

Britain’s exit from the EU However, it also affects the lives of tens of thousands of Greek families, because many Greek students choose British universities every year mainly for postgraduate studies. Britain has always been an academic attraction. It is indicative that the Greek graduates of British higher education institutions exceed 300 thousand.

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In the academic year 2018-19 alone, almost 10,000 Greeks studied at British universities. Thus, they are the fifth largest group of students in the United Kingdom from EU member states. and the eleventh among all the countries of the world. At the same time, about 40,000 Greeks teach or work in British universities, while 165,000 Greek students attend British study programs in Greece.

Tuition increase

Students enrolled in UK universities in the next academic year (2021) and later will face a significant increase in tuition. They will have to pay the tuition fees of international students, which amount, on average (depending on the university and the degree), to 16,500 euros per year.

But those who are already enrolled and attending a university program before the end of December 2020 have secured the same tuition as their British classmates. This will not change as long as their studies last. In other words, for those who have already started studies before the catalytic date of Brexit, nothing changes. What is valid so far will continue to be valid until the end of their studies. This is the reason why many students who would not normally enter the university selection process try to secure their early admission to an academic institution with degrees and clauses from the university, in order to receive the preferential tuition of the pre-Brexit era.

However, another privilege that is lost for Greek students from 2021 onwards is the British state student loans for the payment of tuition fees. By decision of the Minister of Public Universities Michel Donlan it was decided that from the academic year 2021-2022 students from the EU. and Switzerland are no longer eligible for student loans to cover tuition at UK universities. Until now, student loans have been granted by the Ministry of Education to students whose application has been approved by a British university. The amount of the loan was such that it could cover exactly the cost of the tuition fees of this university and amounted to a maximum of 9,000 pounds per year. This means that potentially two siblings can pay different tuition, depending on whether one has registered before the end of December and the other after.

There are, however, British universities, which offer students from EU member states. tuition discount programs after the end of the Brexit transition period. This is a move by individual university institutions, so as not to significantly reduce the flow of students from abroad. According to government estimates in London, however, enrollment of European students in British universities is expected to fall by 20%.

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Tuition, however, is not the only thing that changes. Greek students will be included in the student visa regime. This is a new mechanism called Student Route, which must be followed by the citizens of an EU member state. who will arrive in the UK for study after 1 January 2021. It is not a very complicated process, but it is another bureaucratic burden that did not exist in the past.

It seems that for the Greeks who live and work in Britain for years, the current regime does not change. However, it is difficult for them to be reunited with family members if they wish to follow them to Britain. There are many couples in which one member works and lives in England, while the other was preparing to follow. This transition in some cases will not be possible after December 31. Even children or spouses must comply with the new and strict immigration rules set by the country.

Things are especially complicated for those who will try to work in Britain from 2021 onwards. In case one does not have the famous pre settled status, ie the status of temporary residence permit, immigration becomes a Heraklion feat, because it will be subject to the new immigration policy of London. It provides a point system for immigrants, similar to that of Australia. Those interested are scored based on their skills, knowledge, studies and experience. This means that the tap of opportunity closes, especially for unskilled workers, while opportunities are limited for others. Low-skilled workers, even if they can obtain a visa, may only be issued a 12-month work visa.

The point system for immigrants includes a visa category for skilled workers. To be eligible to apply for this visa, one must prove that an employer, approved by the Home Office, offers them a job to work at the required level of specialization. The salary he will receive from the employer must be at least the minimum wage (usually .5 26,500 a year or the market salary for the job in question – whichever is higher).

Another condition is knowledge of English. One must now speak English at intermediate level B1 (at the scale of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). However, even if one meets all of the above and decides to seek one’s fortune in Britain, one will need to have a guaranteed income of .000 25,000-30,000, but also pay six months’ rent in advance to secure one’s housing. .

Interest in Greek real estate

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An interesting and unexpected aspect of Brexit related to Greece is the growing British interest in Greek real estate. Naturally, after the implementation of Brexit, buyers from Britain will now be considered third-country nationals. And this means that trafficking for them will not be free. Some of the British who work professionally in many EU countries. are turning to the acquisition of the Greek Golden Visa. First on their list is Spain and second Cyprus, while Portugal also emerges as a strong player.

Another pleasant surprise from the apparent fall of sterling against the euro is that it will reduce the cost of living for Greek immigrants. The economic benefit will be proportional to the level at which the exchange rate of the two currencies will stabilize. The benefit of a drop of sterling by about 10% can save 2,000-3,000 euros per year for each student. On the contrary, the fall of sterling against the euro will significantly increase the cost of British holidays abroad and therefore is expected to reduce the flow of tourists from the United Kingdom to Greece. The conditions for hospitalization are also changing, as there will be no current cooperation between the Greek Ministry of Health and the British one.

There will also be difficulties for those Greeks who have a bank account in Britain. From 1 January, British banks will need specific licenses for each country in order to continue to supply certain products. Officials say mortgages, credit cards and savings accounts are being withdrawn.

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