Aspects of repatriation and privileged labor migration: Driving factors and motivations of Georgia’s Greek emigration

TSU, Maro-Makaschwili-Lesesaal - 15.30-15.55

Massive migration from Georgia started in the 1990’s following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The majority of the migrants went abroad seeking jobs, and like other ethnic groups residing in Georgia, Greeks were actively involved in this process. Even though the driving factor of migration appears to be Georgia’s difficult economic situation, some official institutions looked upon this process as a form of repatriation.

This talk combines the dual/segmented labor market theory and social capital theory of migration to underline economical or labor migration characteristics of Georgian Greeks mass emigration process. In relation to interviews, it becomes clear that the push factors of Georgian Greeks migration are the crises following the break-up of the Soviet Union – economic collapse, low incomes, unemployment and opening up of borders. Furthermore open door policy of the Greek government with regards to Greeks from the former Soviet countries gave Georgian Greeks privileged opportunities for migration. On the other hand, the issues of repatriation and return to the “historical homeland” play a surprisingly insignificant role in shaping the processes of migration.