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Brain Drain Is Happening in Greece: Economist

Greece is facing an exit by some of the most talented people in its workforce, as well as its broader economic problems, John Sfakianakis Group Chief Economist at Banque Saudi Al Fransi, told CNBC Thursday.

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“There’s a brain drain happening in Greece today. A lot of talented people are exiting,” Sfakianakis, who is originally from Greece but now based in Saudi Arabia, warned.

European Union finance ministers will meet to discuss the economic problems of Greece, which is teetering on the verge of defaulting on its debt, later Thursday. Their meeting will last for two days.

Protracted wrangling at the top echelons of the EU has failed to find a conclusive solution to the crisis.

“We are trying to fix a house in a very short period when the house has been having problems for a long period of time,” Sfakianakis added. “We have been pushing problems under the carpet and not dealing with them, that’s the problem. Privatisation should have been done a long time ago.”

Part of the program proposed for Greece includes a substantial selloff of state-backed assets.

Some of the Greek population have taken to the streets of Athens in protest this week.

While the Prime Minister survived a vote of confidence Tuesday, worries remain about whether he can make the people accept austerity measures.

“One issue is what price will the Greek population will be willing to pay in order to see this through,” said Sfakianakis.

“Greek society is getting more polarised. They are missing the point that Greece has to reform itself and it has to be done. We are all in this crisis together,” he added.

“The government will pass the measures and then the EU will give them what’s required. From then, Greece will have to show willingness to push the reform measures,” Sfakianakis said.