April 24 - As austerity measures hammer job prospects in the city, Portugal's urban dwellers are increasingly considering rural life. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Opting for the simple life in Portugal. Disillusioned with city life and stifled by austerity some are returning to the land. Some city dwellers are returning to their family villages to see if they can make a livelihood in farming. Jose Diogo has no regrets about leaving behind his job as a technical advisor at a meat company in Lisbon at the beginning of the crisis in 2009. (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) FARMER, JOSE DIOGO, SAYING: "I was working in Lisbon but I had an opportunity here (Viseu); in Lisbon it was hard to find work, get a job. So I had this opportunity here, the quality of life is better, the conditions. The outlook on life here is unchanged, that's why I moved inland and began my farming venture." Patria Guimaraes and her husband moved from the city of Braga to the country last year -- to work in the agricultural industry. (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) NEW SETTLERS PROJECT PARTICIPANT, PATRICIA GUIMARAES, SAYING: "It allows us to always have fresh products. We are here close to the producers and it is more practical than if we were in Braga for example, where it would be harder to get hold of these products as fast as we do." With the cost of living much higher in cities the country life has financial attractions. In fact Portugal's densest urban areas, have lost as much as 10 percent of their population over the last decade. And with no end to austerity in sight, some think more people will be choosing the country over the city life,. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters