High unemployment: Portuguese youth turn to farm work

November 26, 2012

Business, International

Portuguese youth turn to farm work

Aljazeera

High unemployment is making farm work a better alternative for young people from Portugal.

Many people who left their countryside homes for work in the city are now also returning to live with their parents and take up old family traditions of farming. Some are also exploring innovative and new possibilities in the farmlands.

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Video: Portuguese youth turn to farm work

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Video: Portugal the country

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Portuguese head to former colonies to escape European crisis
Portugal ruled Mozambique from the 16th century onward, breeding what would become a shameful colonial legacy, including the forcing into slavery of thousands of locals. In 1964, fighting erupted between liberation fighters and the colonial authority, eventually leading to Mozambique’s independence in 1975.

By Sudarsan Raghavan
The Washington Post

MAPUTO, Mozambique — When Marcio Charata lost his well-paying job in southern Portugal two years ago, he fired off résumés to all his contacts. Determined to survive the economic woes strangling Europe, he secured 20 interviews — but no job. So he set his sights on a faraway and unlikely market: Mozambique, Portugal’s once war-torn former colony.

Today, Charata is a senior executive at a Mozambican media company, joining thousands of his fellow Portuguese who have arrived here in recent months seeking refuge from the euro crisis. “This is an oasis in the desert,” Charata, 33, said with a smile.

Faced with mounting unemployment, rising taxes and cuts to social welfare programs, many Portuguese are traveling to former colonies in search of work, to the very places their colonial ancestors were forced to leave — countries such as Brazil, Angola and Mozambique, which boast some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, fueled by vast deposits of oil, minerals and other raw materials.

Sub-Saharan Africa, to be sure, is no economic promised land. Much of the continent still struggles with high poverty, disease and unemployment, and businesses face major hurdles, including corruption and red tape.

But the Portuguese arrivals are an indication that the continent is on the move economically. The middle class is growing in many African countries, as are large infrastructure projects. Foreign investors are scouring the region for opportunities, while trade with China is expanding. The World Bank predicts that one-third of all African countries’ growth rates will top 6 percent this year, with many nations’ economies swelling more rapidly than the East Asian tiger economies.

From 2009 to 2011, the number of Portuguese who registered with their embassy in Maputo increased about 21 percent to nearly 19,000, and the embassy estimates that more than 23,000 Portuguese live in the Maputo and Beira regions. Many new arrivals are highly skilled professionals, including architects, engineers and doctors.

The number of Portuguese companies expressing interest in investing in this southern African country has more than doubled this year, from 10 visiting delegations last year to 22 this year, according to the Mozambique-Portugal Chamber of Commerce.

See link for full article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/portuguese-head-to-former-african-colony-to-escape-euro-crisis/2012/11/11/b19b8660-237e-11e2-92f8-7f9c4daf276a_story.html

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Video: Portugal and the slave trade
Brazil Slavery: An Inconvenient History

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Video: Portuguese seek jobs in former African colonies

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Video: Mozambique independence

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Video: Angolan independence from Portugal 1975 

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Video: History of Portugal the Empire

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