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Greek PM Antonis Samaras often talks about his aim to reverse the trend of what he calls “brain drain”. He means he wants to create the conditions for well-educated and intelligent Greeks (who have left the country and do well abroad) to come back and settle down in Greece. This can not happen and most people know it. What most people don’t notice is that there are two major issues with this narrative. First: Samaras has said that these high-achieving, hard-working, intelligent and evidently able to succeed Greeks left because of the crisis. This is not true. The “brains” had gone already usually never to return from their studies abroad, or after a disappointing spell back in Greece. These Greeks left before the crisis. They may not have been happy with the clientelistic governments, the perpetual corruption, the endless contempt of all legality, etc. People who do well want a very strong and stable state, because it pays them well, taxes them fairly, protects them from all sorts of rubbish, and offers opportunity for their children, friends and others who give it an honest try. Greece, led by Samaras and his equals, was clientelistic, corrupt and anarchic for a long time, it did not start in 2008-9. Those who left after 2009-10 were NOT the brains. Those, who obviously included some “brains” too, as well as some very young people, were desperate. I think a study in the qualifications and work experience statistics of the two “waves” which any decent state will have available will show this clearly, won’t it? Yeap. Still, that is not the major issue. Some of these desperate people will return to Greece because they didn’t get what they expected in England, Germany, Australia and other places. The second (and major) issue is Samaras’ claim that he is trying to bring these high-achieving people back to Greece. He isn’t. These intelligent, well-paid people have expensive houses in developed countries. Maybe they have invested in more than one property. These properties are assets that are worth more every year and are not taxed, because they are not income. They may be taxed if they become or bring income, which is fair, but will never be taxed otherwise. These people will never come back to a country that taxes property ownership. They won’t come back to be voluntarily robbed every year at random rates. Is this clear?

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