LONDON: As the Greek parliament approved a multi-billion Euro asset sale that prompted headlines of 'Greece, a nation for sale', nearly 2,000 Indians working in various sectors have left the beleaguered country amid riots and major job losses.
The assets for sale include 39 airports, 850 ports, railways, motorways, sewage works, two energy companies, banks, thousands of acres of land, casinos and the national lottery.
The sale is intended to raise 50 billion Euros to help pay back the country's 110 billion Euro bailout debt .
Nearly 2,000 Indians have left Greece in recent weeks, according to Madhur Gandhi, a shipping businessman in Athens and president of an Indian community organisation.
Indians are among many south Asians who have left Greece following riots and major job losses in recent weeks.
Gandhi told: "Lots of factories and shops were closed and our people lost jobs.
Agriculture workers were also affected but most seriously affected were the construction workers. About 1,000-2,000 Indians have gone back to India."
Most of the Indians who have returned worked in the construction industry, which has suffered much in the ongoing financial crisis.
He said that out of about 30,000 Indians in Greece, only 18,000 were legal immigrants.
The vast majority of the community were agricultural workers employed on various Greek islands while only a couple of hundred lived in Athens.
Indians working in the agriculture sector were less affected by the riots in Athens because most of them work outside the capital, Gandhi said, and added that the local people had much respect and affinity for the Indian community.
According to Gandhi, Indians were also returning home from Spain and France , which have also faced the impact of recession and job losses.
He said the Indians were not going elsewhere in Europe for jobs but were headed back home.
Greece's finance experts hope that Chinese investment will bail the country out.
Severe austerity measures prompted by the debt crisis have already sparked riots and strikes in Greece.