Pressed by Debt Crisis, Doctors Leave Greece in Droves

Go Lean Commentary

CU Blog - Pressed by Debt Crisis, Doctors Leave Greece in Droves - Photo 3Poor economic conditions are forcing a brain drain among a country’s professionals. Yes, we understand all too well.

This is the crisis for Greece! This is the crisis for the Caribbean, as well!

This is a consistent theme in the book Go Lean…Caribbean. The book posits that the events in Greece are relevant for the Caribbean, North America and the world economy as a whole. What’s worse is that many Caribbean member-states are in the same situation.

Greece is the weak link in the Eurozone; it is inching closer to defaulting on its debt. The country has been in a long standoff with its European creditors on the terms of a multibillion-dollar bailout. If the country goes bankrupt or decides to leave the 19-nation Eurozone, the Greek debt crisis could create instability in the region and reverberate around the globe. (Since this debt crisis began in 2010, most international banks and foreign investors have sold their Greek bonds and other holdings; they are not as vulnerable to what happens in Greece now).

CU Blog - Pressed by Debt Crisis, Doctors Leave Greece in Droves - Photo 1“A crisis is a terrible thing to waste” – states the Go Lean book quoting noted Economist Paul Romer. The opportunity therefore exists to forge change in the economic, security and governing engines of communities, in response to crises.

This story (see VIDEO below) shows that the rest of the world are all paying attention to this crisis in Greece, but few are thinking of the impact on the professional classes. This is of paramount interest to the planners of a new Caribbean, the publishers of the Go Lean book. The purpose of the book is to position the region at the corner of preparation and opportunity, so as to benefit from change. The issue from this article is more pressing for the Caribbean, as we share, as a region, a very high brain drain/emigration rate, estimated at 70%. See article here and VIDEO below:

Title: Pressed by Debt Crisis, Doctors Leave Greece in Droves
By: Erik Olsen, Contributor, New York Times Online Site; posted July 1, 2015; retrieved from:

Greece is in the midst of the worst brain drain in modern history, experts say.

“This is unprecedented in terms of the numbers of educated people that are leaving,” said Lois Labrianidis, a professor of economic geography at the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki.

The country is hemorrhaging talent, as professionals in medicine, engineering and academics flee for a better economic climate and more stable employment. The pain has been particularly severe in the health care sector of Greece: Many of the country’s doctors have left or are making plans to do so.

“I don’t feel safe and secure for the future of my family here,” said Spyridon Kotsaris, an Athens orthopedic surgeon who has been planning for months to leave Greece with his wife and two daughters, preferably to Germany or Switzerland.

“We want a better life,” he said. “A better life means we are all together and feel more secure.”

In all, nearly 300,000 people have left Greece since 2010, nearly 3 percent of the country’s population before the crisis, according to government statistics. That includes as many as 5,000 doctors, with about 3,500 of them ending up in Germany, where Europe’s financial crisis has had less impact.

“It’s not that big of a concern for me financially, because I work in Germany,” said Alexios Theodorou, a Greek general surgeon working at a hospital in Gummersbach in North Rhine-Westphalia. Mr. Theodorou left Greece five years ago, as the crisis was beginning.

“My paycheck is secured,” he said. “But that doesn’t make my concern about the future any less, as I have much family in Greece. Greece is where I still call home.”

In some ways, the loss of so much young talent may be more devastating to Greece in the long term than abandoning the euro, if that happens. That has left some who sought a better life feeling increasingly bittersweet about the decision to leave.

“I feel sad seeing my country going through this rough time,” Mr. Theodorou said. “We, the people who left, are not to blame for the situation, but we sometimes feel guilty that we are leaving, that we left the people there to handle their problems.”

The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), a super-national institution with federal powers to forge change in the Caribbean region. One mission is incentivizing the return of the far-flung Caribbean Diaspora. Another mission is to dissuade further human flight/brain drain. The numbers don’t lie: we need population growth not population contraction.

CU Blog - Pressed by Debt Crisis, Doctors Leave Greece in Droves - Photo 2The CU recognizes that the population numbers must work in favor of societal progress. Greece has lost 3% of its population since the start of this crisis in 2010, so this negative trend cannot be understated. There are many social safety nets that depend of the actuarial fact of population expansion, not contraction. Consider unemployment and pensions: for unemployment, workers pay into a fund and the temporarily unemployed file claims against that fund. Likewise with pensions: young workers pay into a fund, and the older-retired workers draw claims against that fund.

Thus, population contractions are definitely among the indices for a Failed-State status (Page 271).

The confederation of the CU is a reversal of the unfortunate trends inflicted on the Caribbean. The vision is to forge a Single Market of 42 million people in the 30 Caribbean member-states. Then the Go Lean roadmap provides the details for the creation of 2.2 million new jobs and GDP growth to accumulate to $800 Billion. This vision is at the root of the Go Lean roadmap, embedded in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Page 13):

xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

xxv. Whereas the legacy of international democracies had been imperiled due to a global financial crisis, the structure of the Federation must allow for financial stability and assurance of the Federation’s institutions. To mandate the economic vibrancy of the region, monetary and fiscal controls and policies must be incorporated as proactive and reactive measures. These measures must address threats against the financial integrity of the Federation and of the member-states.

According to the foregoing New York Times article and the VIDEO below, Greece is in “hot water”. They need a remediation plan. Go Lean is the plan … for the Caribbean, not Greece. But we get to apply lessons learned from the experiences in Greece.

The following details from the book Go Lean … Caribbean are the community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies prescribed to manifest the reboot and empowerment efforts for the Caribbean economy, society and life in general:

Who We Are – SFE Foundation and 2008 Role Page 8
Anecdote: Puerto Rico – The Greece of the Caribbean Page 18
Community Ethos – Economic Systems Influence Individual Choices Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – Money Multiplier Page 21
Community Ethos – Governing Principles – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact Turn-Arounds Page 33
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Vision – Confederate all 30 Member-States into a Single   Market Page 47
Strategy – Mission – Repatriating Caribbean Diaspora Page 46
Strategy – Mission – Dissuade further Brain Drain Page 46
Tactical – Confederating a Permanent Union Page 63
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy – Greek Sovereign Debt Case Study Page 64
Implementation – Assemble all Member-States Page 96
Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change Page 101
Implementation – Reasons to Repatriate Page 118
Planning – Ways to Model the European Union (EU) Page 130
Planning – Ways to Improve Failed-State Indices Page 134
Planning – Lessons Learned from 2008 Page 136
Planning – Lessons Learned from East Germany – Eventuality of Failed-States Page 139
Planning – Lessons Learned from Detroit – The Need for Turn-around Page 140
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Entitlements – Austerity Lessons Page 158
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Governance – Euro-Zone Budget Deficits Model Page 168
Advocacy – Better Manage the Social Contract Page 170
Advocacy – Impact the Diaspora Page 217
Advocacy – Ways to Preserve Caribbean Heritage Page 218
Advocacy – Ways to Help the Middle Class – Enforce the Social Contract Page 223
Appendix – Failed-State Indicators and Definitions Page 271

Broken economies can be fixed!

This is not the first economic crisis to be observed-and-reported on by Go Lean planners. The Go Lean book is a product of 2008 Financial Crisis and Great Recession. From this fallout, this roadmap was composed, by individuals intimate with the details of the crisis … and its causes; (Page 8). Their motivation: love of homeland.

While love of the Caribbean homeland is a strong motivator – as Greek expatriates in the below VIDEO express love of their homeland – the realities of a broken economy will still cause a brain drain. These flight-abandonment realities creates the need for a societal reboot in economics, security and governance. This is the quest of Go Lean…Caribbean roadmap, to reboot the region’s societal engines; employing best-practices and better strategies, tactics and implementations to impact its prime directives, identified with these statements:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines and mitigate challenges/threats to the region’s public safety.
  • Improvement of Caribbean governance to support these engines.

There are many Go Lean blog/commentaries that have echoed these points of societal abandonment. Here is a sample of related commentaries: Immigrants account for 1 in 11 Blacks in USA A Lesson in History: – Emigration from Ireland in History Caribbean Ghost Towns: It Could Happen…Again A Lesson in History: Economics of East Berlin – A Failed-State Caribbean Jobs – Attitudes & Images of the Diaspora Book Review: ‘Prosper Where You Are Planted’ Caribbean loses more than 70 percent of tertiary educated to brain drain Having less babies (and people) is bad for the Caribbean economy Ailing Puerto Rico open to radical economic fixes

From the cradle-to-the-grave, the needs of a community – whether it is in the Caribbean, Greece or anywhere – cannot be casually dismissed. A crisis ensues, people respond, they make a choice: fight or flight.

In Greece, despite this great beauty, they are choosing flight:

CU Blog - Pressed by Debt Crisis, Doctors Leave Greece in Droves - Photo 4

In the Caribbean too!


We can do better! We must do better. Though success is not guaranteed, it can be forged with the adoption and application of best-practices. This requires the full participation – time, talent and treasuries – of all stakeholders: residents and Diaspora alike. This effort is not easy, but rather strenuous; the Go Lean book calls it “heavy-lifting”.

Strenuous, heavy-lifting – Yes – but the returns are worth the effort: making the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play.

This is the goal of the Go Lean roadmap. Everyone is urged to lean-in! 🙂

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!


Appendix VIDEOGreece’s Doctor Brain Drain


In part of a large brain drain that could affect Greece for decades, thousands of doctors have left the nation for Germany since the financial crisis began five years ago.


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