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Greeks swap factory for farming

Monday, April 30, 2012 - 01:40

April 30 - Greece's economic crisis is in its fifth year, unemployment is at a record level of 22 percent and many Greeks are swapping the city for the countryside as they look to become self-sufficient. Joanna Partridge reports.

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Living off the land. Dimitrios Psomiadis is getting to grips with farming in the northern Greek countryside. He and his wife Maria used to live in the city. But when the crisis hit and they lost their jobs in the textile industry - they decided to move back to the village where Dimitrios' family comes from. SOUNDBITE: Dimitrios Psomiadis, New farmer, saying (Greek): "There's been such a crisis in industry in the last two years, that we were unable to survive. We were unable to support our family, our children, the needs of our household through our jobs. There was no way." On their small plot of land, the couple now grow vegetables and breed livestock like sheep, goats and rabbits. They produce their own eggs and milk, as well as homemade marmalade and pickles. SOUNDBITE: Maria Psomiadi, New farmer, saying (Greek): "It hasn't solved all our problems, but it has kept us from poverty. It shows that people can at least produce their own food, and then fight to get back what they have lost." The small farm doesn't have the most modern amenities - but it can produce enough to feed all seven family members. They're not the only ones returning to the land. Greece's economic crisis is now in its fifth year and unemployment has hit record levels of almost 22%. In a recent survey by the Greek Agriculture Ministry, two-thirds of over a thousand people questioned said they were considering leaving their cities, and 20% were already planning their move. Many hope by returning to a more simple life they'll be able to become self-sufficient. Joanna Partridge, Reuters

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Greeks swap factory for farming

Monday, April 30, 2012 - 01:40