the lengthy street for Greece’s digital nomads By Reuters

6/6 © Reuters. Rowena Harding works on the backyard of her home, on the island of Aegina 2/6 By Karolina Tagaris AEGINA, Greece (Reuters) – From her backyard on a sunny Greek island, Rowena Harding works with governments and charities throughout the globe. “The good factor is I can do my job from anyplace,” the


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© Reuters. Rowena Harding works on the backyard of her home, on the island of Aegina

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By Karolina Tagaris

AEGINA, Greece (Reuters) – From her backyard on a sunny Greek island, Rowena Harding works with governments and charities throughout the globe.

“The good factor is I can do my job from anyplace,” the Australian-British communications marketing consultant says. “I will speak to purchasers in Myanmar, purchasers in Rwanda. This morning I have been engaged on northeast Nigeria, all from right here, a Greek island.”

The push to draw a group of footloose distant staff is among the many inexperienced and digital reforms Greece hopes will assist revive its economic system and restore its worldwide picture after greater than a decade of disaster.

It additionally hopes to spice up tourism after the business’s worst 12 months in many years plunged it again into recession in 2020.

But for a rustic close to the underside of the European Union’s digital economic system rankings, the street to changing into a hub for digital nomads – like Bali or Mallorca – is lengthy and strewn with technological and bureaucratic hurdles.

Whether or not it might probably succeed only a few years after rising from the most important bailout in historical past will present a check of Greece’s potential to reshape its economic system for a post-pandemic world.

Sitting on a seaside close to her dwelling, Harding lists the explanations she moved from Thailand to Aegina, one of many Saronic islands a brief ferry journey from Athens: low coronavirus an infection charges, climate, good meals and a pleasant perspective to having fun with life.

Past solar, sea and life-style, Greece is planning visas and providing a 50% earnings tax lower for seven years for professionals who transfer there. It additionally needs to lure again a number of the 800,000 younger Greeks who emigrated in the course of the lengthy downturn that adopted the 2009 world monetary disaster.

“If you happen to can work from anyplace, why not work from Greece?” Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis instructed Reuters, citing analysis estimating a 1.6 billion euro income acquire for each 100,000 staff who keep for six months.

However regardless of Greece’s “nice potential”, many are staying for weeks, not months, due to issues starting from sluggish WiFi to rigid visa guidelines, stated David Williams (NYSE:), CEO of worldwide housing market NomadX.

Whereas Greece has attracted funding by tech champions Tesla (NASDAQ:) and Amazon (NASDAQ:), it fares nicely under European averages on connectivity, web use and digital public providers, standing second to final within the European Fee’s 2020 Digital Economic system and Society Index.

Greece’s fastened broadband web is slower than Tajikistan’s, the place only a quarter of the inhabitants is on-line, in response to the Speedtest World Index, which ranked Greece 98th in February.

WORK, PARADISE AND BUREAUCRACY

Final month, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis outlined a multi-billion plan dubbed “Greece 2.0” together with investments in 5G networks, which Greece started rolling out in December to bolster its attractiveness.

“You need to have the ability to have a look at the ocean out of your window as you’re employed, however you wish to be certain that the laptop computer is related,” tourism minister Theoharis stated.

Pushed by the pandemic, dwelling working is anticipated to double in 2021, a U.S.-based Enterprise Know-how Analysis survey discovered.

Desperate to compete with Portugal’s Madeira island, which arrange a digital nomad village, Greece’s Rhodes launched a Digital Nomads Observatory. On Crete, a mission referred to as “Work & Paradise” guarantees the prospect to work from poolside villas.

And not using a digital nomads’ registry, it’s tough to find out what number of are in Greece. The Fb (NASDAQ:) group “Digital Nomads Athens” counts 3,600 members from international locations together with Eire, France, the USA and Estonia.

Sanne Goslinga, director of expertise at Marathon Enterprise Capital, who moved from Berlin, acquired a number of LinkedIn (NYSE:) messages from folks interested by jobs in Greece.

“Technology Z are risk-takers; they are saying ‘I am going to simply go and see and I can at all times return to my nation’,” she stated, referring to these born between the mid-Nineteen Nineties and early 2010s.

Stefanos Bournias, born in Greece and raised in Bali, moved from Amsterdam final March, working for the Latvian translation software program start-up Lokalise.

“Part of me needs to see Greece heal a lot of its issues, particularly with human capital and the mind drain,” the 25-year-old stated from a co-working house.

Bournias was initially postpone by the dearth of alternatives, working circumstances and wages. As a international resident, he waded via “layers and layers of pink tape” on issues like getting a navy exemption or opening a checking account.

“If you happen to disregard all that and also you earn a aggressive western European wage, the usual of life right here is unbelievable,” he stated.

Nonetheless, on NomadsList, which ranks one of the best locations for distant staff, Athens is just sixty fifth in an inventory topped by Lisbon.

For some, corresponding to Harding, the benefits of Greece outweigh setbacks that she stated embody energy outages. She intends to hunt residency.

For others, the longer term is much less sure.

“Proper now it is working for me,” Bournias stated. “However I assume I am going to in all probability be leaving in some unspecified time in the future.”





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