For all the talk about a ‘brain-drain’ that has deprived Greece from a much valuable human capital, minimising the country’s resources, which would lead to growth and prosperity, there is an aspect that has not been really mentioned: the emotional one. The recent Kappa Research Survey, presented this week, focuses on just that – how young Greek people feel about expatriation.

The numbers come as no surprise. Most of the Young Greek Migrants express nostalgia for their motherland; most of those who remained in Greece defend this decision, saying that they would not want – or could not – live away from the country, their family, their friends. It’s the story of the Greek diaspora, over and over again, with the same underlying themes: meritocracy, education, better life, prospect – and the weather, that glorious, comforting Greek weather we all miss.

The numbers present a reality; that fewer young Greeks are now contemplating migration than what happened at the start of the Crisis. That’s natural – the vast majority of those eager to leave has already done so. The others are finally starting to see light at the end of the tunnel, after the ‘official’ end of the bailout program.

Of course, other numbers don’t agree with this optimism. Another Survey, conducted by Metron Analysis for the General Confederation of Greek Workers, showed that nine out of 10 people in Greece don’t believe that the end of the bailout will mark an end to austerity policies.

There are a lot of ways to look at numbers, of course. Some will say that the Young Migrants survey marks a reversal of the trend – to the extent that they hope that some of the recent migrants will return to the country, and help with some other numbers. The Demographic and Social Analysis Lab of the University of Thessaly issued a report recently that predicts that the Greek population will keep aging and shrinking, at least until 2050. Reversing that trend is not an option; only suppressing it. To do that, Greece needs more births; the return of migrants might also help; but the main thing would be to welcome new migrants, add to the mix, embrace those choosing Greece as their place of opportunity, prospect and hope.

A country with a long history of diaspora should be able and willing to become the country of other nations’ diasporas.