Emigration of the workforce represented by young people is becoming such a difficult problem to tackle in Transylvania that the city of Sepsiszentgyörgy (Sfântu Gheorghe) has initiated a program where free land, Wi-Fi and other benefits for larger families are offered to those people who decide to return home and settle there.
Maszol, a Hungarian news portal from Romania, reports about the program promoted at sepsinet.ro, where one will find not only a detailed list of benefits, how to apply and what the program entails, but also success stories of those who have already returned home. According to Heti Világgazdaság, since Romania has become an EU member in 2007, one-fifth of the workforce has left the country – 18.2% of Romania’s population lives abroad, and the UN expects a further 15% decrease of the population by 2050. All the while the number of the 3.6 million diaspora is growing year by year (compared to this, approximately one million
Hungarians are living abroad, making up 10% of the whole population). Sepsinet.ro helps young people who are planning to or who have already returned home by providing useful information on the papers needed for applying for the program, along with the medical, educational, cultural and economic services offered in Sepsiszentgyörgy. At the end of last year, eight families were granted free land (300 square metres each) in Sepsiszentgyörgy. Families are presented with four different house plans to choose from and to build on these lands, and ten years from the completion of the house, the families can buy the land as their own. Among the published stories, one finds people who have come home from fruitful ventures in Europe or even Asia.
Take, for example, Csanád Birtalan, who has arrived home from Dubai and is now using his experiences in marketing gained abroad to become a successful entrepreneur in Sepsiszentgyörgy. He is the leader of a marketing and business development consulting firm, still in contact with clients from Dubai. Csanád told Sepsinet that he and his wife are still keen on travelling and visiting big cities, but for raising a child and living a peaceful life, a town or small city like Sepsiszentgyörgy is the most ideal.
Considering that his parents live in Sepsi, they can be of big help with the grandchild. “We picked my hometown because this is where we could notice the most significant and positive development. On top of all this, there are more people of our age here, so our social needs are met too.” Álmos Bunta’s story is encouraging as well: he worked in Hungary as a civil engineer, where having lunch each day presented a difficult challenge.
That is when it occurred to him that there would be a need for good quality street food, and immediately decided to try his hand as an apprentice at Hungarian hamburger vendors. In the end, he returned to Sepsiszentgyörgy to open his hamburger restaurant, Eleven Street Food, which has become one of the most popular burger places in the city.