Greece debt crisis sees workers turn to UK

Recruitment agencies have reported a rise in the number of Greek nationals seeking employment in construction, teaching and IT.

Online agency CV Library said the number of visits to its website has more than doubled in the past year.

The number of 25 to 34-year-olds seeking information about working in Britain has risen by 58 per cent since the same time last year.

Mike Powell, head of sales at CV Library, told Sky News: “The numbers that are coming through are pretty phenomenal – it’s record numbers week after week.

“We’re now experiencing a 26 per cent increase week-on-week, and we think that July will actually see more visitors than last month in June by a 100 per cent.”

The European Commission wants a deal to be reached on a bailout programme by the second half of August when Greece must honour a €3.4bn debt repayment to the European Central Bank.

But with the talks also expected to be extremely tough, there are few who believe that deadline will be met.

That uncertainty is leading some businesses to look to Britain for better trading conditions.

Alex Christodoulou, who runs an online shipping company, relocated his business from Greece five months ago.

“The first thing we’re seeing is that businesses are starting to relocate – (the) high-skilled in finance industry first and now we’re seeing tech guys thinking about moving country altogether.

“We used to see the brain drain where people left their country and would go back one day. Now we’re seeing people thinking about not going back.”

In Wilmslow, Cheshire, 23-year-old Kostas Kostikou earns more in one week as a part-time waiter than he did in a whole month as a skilled computer technician in Athens.

He said his salary was cut by half overnight in Greece and he could not afford to live.

“I think that they can’t rebuild the country if the younger generation go out of the country. All that’s left are the old men and the country will die. That’s Greece’s problem,” he said.