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Silver economy – a growing sector in Greece

Silver economy – a growing sector in Greece

Enterprise Greece and the Greek Health Tourism Council have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly promote the country as a destination in the European Union’s €47 billion a year medical tourism sector. The initiative forms part of the Greek government’s recent efforts to tap into the EU’s growing silver economy.

Greece's recent efforts to establish the country as a retirement destination for seniors is taking place against a wider European Union initiative to develop effective policies for an ageing population and Europe's €4 trillion silver economy.

Europe has the oldest population in the world, with a current median age of 42.5 years. By 2050, a projected 34% of Europe’s population will be over 65 years old. This has far-reaching implications for society as a whole and makes the ageing population a pressing policy issue. The silver economy of the EU is expected to grow by 5% a year from €3.7 trillion in 2015 to €5.7 trillion in 2025.

Developing the silver economy has significant potential to create jobs and attract foreign investment to Greece. The recently passed tax incentive for retirees to relocate to Greece is expected to bring €5 billion annually into the economy and create 60,000 jobs, according to a recent study.

Greece, with its mild climate, healthy Mediterranean diet and its established medical infrastructure, has long been touted as a potential retirement destination for northern Europeans similar to the role that the state of Florida serves in the U.S. Recent efforts by the Greek government aim to position the country as a leading provider of long-term care and services for the elderly.