As we were spending time with Greeks in Alexandria, we realized there is a common trend among many of them. Many of the Greeks in Egypt were born there, had moved back to Greece, and now had returned to live permanently in Egypt.
The reason is the high cost of living in Greece. Most of the people we talked with went back to Athens and to other cities in Greece in the 70’s . They stayed there, made families and eventually retired. The cost of living in Greece has changed so much the last decade that these people could not afford to live anymore there so they decided to go back to Alexandria and Cairo, the places that were born. Egypt has gotten a lot more expensive recently, but compared to Greece remains extremely cheap.
Mrs. Irene Konidi is one of the Greeks that were born in Alexandria. She went to Greece in the 70’s and last year came back to the city she was born.
“I cannot afford anymore the economic situation in Greece, everything it is very expensive. Here I have my friends from my childhood and the cost of life is 6 times less”. With my pension from Greece I can live well here. There is no way I could afford to live in Greece.”
And now Alexandria is only two hours away from Greece considering that there are direct flights. “My son told me I should come and live here and he was right. It is not far and, either I visit them in Greece or they visit me here.”
Mrs. Irini is not the only one. She said that she knows at least ten people that have done the same thing, go back to where they were born because they could not afford Greece any more.
The same trend can be seen with Greeks that were born in Turkey, and in other countries of Asia and Africa that the cost of life is cheaper than Greece.