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A million and a half citizens in Greece intend to return to villages

28 March 2012 / 16:03:32  GRReporter
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Around a million and a half citizens of the two largest cities in Greece, Athens and Thessaloniki, intend to return to the villages and half of them intend to engage in agriculture, shows a poll held by the sociological company Kapa Research commissioned by the Minister of Agricultural Development, Kostas Skandalidis.

The economic crisis, rising unemployment and expensive city life are making people look for new solutions. 68.2% of respondents said they are planning to return to their homes in the countryside. Of these, almost 20% have undertaken to arrange their leaving.

The poll shows that almost half of the respondents said they would like to engage in farming (agriculture, livestock, fishing). Another 18.3% would like to develop tourist and cultural activities. 14.2% are willing to engage in communications and development of new technologies in areas with lower operating costs. 11.8% of respondents believe that they can be active in the field of education, while 10.6% would like to engage in the production and marketing of renewable energy. Activities such as rural tourism and commerce take about 7% of the votes while only 5.8% would do business in the catering sector in a village.

Kappa Research emphasizes that 70 of the enthusiasts, who wish to relocate in the countryside are college or university graduates. They are adamant that the countryside offers better quality of life, a better environment for family and raising children and a significantly lower cost of living.

There is a new trend in the group of people willing to embark on farming. 50% of them have turned to snail cultivation, which is considered an extremely profitable business. "Snail farms have a future," said 27-year- old Achileas Garoufalidis to Ethnos. He was born in Thessaloniki and he intends to use the European funding programmes for agriculture, which have a special fund to subsidize this type of farming. Snails appear to be the latest fashion in the European culinary and cosmetic industry, which makes them a major choice for young entrepreneurs willing to operate outside the big cities. "I will seek buyers abroad and intend to create a modern production farm." The European funds will cover only part of the funding needed to start, but he has a certain amount to begin.

Alexandra Terizidou from Thessaloniki, aged 27, has already invested in 13.5 acres of land near Chalcedon. She has graduated from agriculture and she believes that the best way to accomplish in a crisis is to produce. "I decided to buy land to be able to apply my knowledge in practice. I bet on my capabilities and I think I can handle it. The situation in the country is very difficult already and each alternative way to earn some means must be used." Alexandra has undertaken to produce organic tomatoes, cucumbers and other types of vegetables.


Tags: EconomyMarketsAgricultureGreeceSnails
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