Immigrant workers as a restructuring factor of local entrepreneurship and labour market in rural Greece Conference Paper uri icon


  • Demographic, structural and social factors have led to increased labour deficiencies which have substantial negative implications for the cost of production and the competitiveness of Greek agriculture during the last years. Additionally, the sectoral mix in many rural areas in Greece has been changing in favour of the non-agricultural sectors, whereas the agricultural sector is still important in a good number of rural areas. The local labour markets are particularly diverse due to their increased dependence on family farms, small-scale businesses, informal employment and tourist activities. The massive arrival of migrants after the collapse of the regimes of Central Eastern European Countries in 1989, seen in retrospect, has offered solutions to these pressing problems generating, at the same time, new demands for labour and new job positions in agriculture and the countryside in general. This paper draws from an empirical study conducted in 2006 that concerned the in depth analysis of the implications from migrants" presence in the rural economy and regional labour markets of the geographical region of Epirus, Greece. Epirus is a border, marginal and lagging behind, by any index used by the EU to measure economic performance, region. On the basis of quantitative data, the paper aims to analyze and interpret the diverse impact of migrants on different rural localities. Semi-constructed questionnaires from 212 small businesses and family farms are collected and analyzed, and their results are presented on this paper. The main hypothesis is that migrants may not be conceived strictly as an agricultural labour force since they seem to be highly mobile within rural areas, but they should be rather considered more widely, as a rural labour force, which has multiple implications on rural society and economy of Greece.

published proceedings

  • XXIInd Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology, Mobilities, Vulnerabilities and Sustainabilities: New questions and challenges for rural Europe

author list (cited authors)

  • Pappas, C., Kasimis, C., & Papadopoulos, A. G.

complete list of authors

  • Pappas, Constantinos||Kasimis, C||Papadopoulos, AG

publication date

  • January 2007