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Integration a few kilometres away from the motherland: Albanians' internal migration, settlement and voluntary return in Epirus and the Ionian Islands in Greece


  • Stelios Gialis

    () (Economic Geography, University of Thessaly and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.)


This paper focuses on the interconnection between internal migration in Greece, integration and voluntary return prospects of Albanians currently living in Epirus and the Ionian Islands. It is based on field research conducted during 2008 among immigrants who live in Ioannina, Preveza, Arta and Kerkyra. The study highlights the different types of internal trajectories that migrants had follow before settling in the neighbouring areas of Greece, just a few kilometres away from their homeland. Migrant's current economic integration and some of the socio-economic barriers they face are discussed and linked to their will to return permanently to Albania. Internal mobility is found to be a preceding step in search for integration; integration, in turn, acts as a counterbalance to both further internal movement and voluntary return prospects, at least for the next foreseeable years.

Suggested Citation

  • Stelios Gialis, 2012. "Integration a few kilometres away from the motherland: Albanians' internal migration, settlement and voluntary return in Epirus and the Ionian Islands in Greece," Migration Letters, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 9(2), pages 141-154, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:mig:journl:v:9:y:2012:i:2:p:141-154

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Florin P. Vadean & Matloob Piracha, 2009. "Circular Migration or Permanent Return: What Determines Different Forms of Migration?," Studies in Economics 0912, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    2. Stelios Gialis & Eleutheria Karnavou, 2008. "Dimensions of Atypical Forms of Employment in Thessaloniki, Greece," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(4), pages 882-902, December.
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