The FINANCIAL -- The total amount of money transferred to Georgia increased by USD 37
million in the first half of 2012 in comparison with the same period of
2011. However, the total sum transferred from Italy, Spain and Ukraine decreased during the first half of 2012 as a result of the economic
Statistical data of the first six months of 2012 compared to the same period of 2011 shows that money transfers from Italy decreased by USD 2 million, while from Spain and Ukraine there has been a decrease of USD 3 million. Russia, Greece, the USA and UK are showing increases as the top countries transferring money to Georgia; Russia leads the list of donor countries.
The total sum transferred from Italy amounted to USD 53,281,800 for the six months of 2012. Ukraine ’s sum came to USD 21,969,400, and Spain’s - USD 12,390,900.
The total volume of money transferred to Georgia reached USD 625,923,000 in the first half of 2012. Last year the sum was USD 588,877,000. As the figures show, this year the volume has increased by USD 37 million.
Kakha Liparteliani, 37, used to work for a construction company in Madrid. “Everything seemed to be going well, but when the crisis hit, immigrants were severely battered. I used to earn EUR 800 per month, but later the company simply failed to pay us our salaries. It was impossible to find another job and so I left for Georgia,” Liparteliani said.
“The cost of rent for foreigners in Spain is higher than it is for native Spaniards,” he added.
During the six months of 2012, money transfers from Russia to Georgia increased by USD 8 million in comparison with the same period of 2011. The sum amounted to USD 323,811,500. USD 74,865,900 has been sent from Greece, Italy’s amount came to USD 53,281,800, from the USA - USD 38,775,200, Ukraine - USD 21,969,400 and Spain - USD 12,390,900.
On the basis of a national census conducted in the Russian Federation in 2010, the number of Georgians living in Russia amounts to 170,166.
Global research company Gallup estimated that the number of Georgians working illegally in Russia ranged from 333,000 to 1 million in 2006. About one in twelve Georgians (8%) told Gallup that someone in their household was working abroad temporarily -- and of those, 41% said that the person worked in Russia. In the same period MOSCOW deported several hundred Georgians and shut down a number of businesses run by Georgians in Russia. That increased the number of Georgian job migrants in Greece.
Labour migration to Greece started in the 90s. It was the first stream of Georgian labour migrants who escaped from the economic stagnation of the country and unemployment. Other popular destinations for job migrants from Georgia were Turkey and Russia.
According to the country profile of International Organization of Migration, the number of Georgian migrants in Greece in 2007 was 13,791.
Mako Peradze, 35, has been working as a domestic worker in Athens, Greece, for twenty years. She said that the economic crisis did not affect her employment and she maintained her previous monthly salary of EUR 900. “As for others, the majority faced income reductions of approximately 100-200 EUR. The average salary of Georgian migrants currently stands at EUR 600. The situation is more difficult for men. Most of them were employed in construction and as this business is largely frozen due to the recession, they have returned to Georgia,” Peradze told The FINANCIAL.
“Labour migrants normally get their jobs in Athens at a special office for jobseekers from Georgia and other countries. After paying 100-200 EUR (depending on the salary they will have) they find employment. Now due to the crisis, the tendency has changed. Since the families who hire domestic workers also have to pay, they try to use personal contacts instead. The families also bring elderly people together or two or three relatives are given to one person for care. This is how locals are saving money now,” Peradze added.