Some pick Argentina as haven from economic blues

Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:28am EDT
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By Kylie Stott

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina, which has had a history of economic crises, has become an unlikely haven for some cash-strapped, unemployed refugees from economic turmoil in Europe and the United States.

Argentina's latest economic upheaval was in 2001-2002, when a steep currency devaluation sent millions of people into poverty. But the effects of the current global recession are not expected to be felt here until later this year, according to experts.

Buenos Aires, a sophisticated, European-style capital in South America that long has been popular with savvy tourists and artistic bohemians, is now a haven for some young adults from Europe and the United States who find their savings go further here.

German actor Lukas Weichert, 22, recently moved to Buenos Aires, where he could afford to beef up his resume by learning tango and also studying yoga, contemporary dance and ballet.

Weichert graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art last December, but immediately realized that trying to get acting roles, or even a job as a waiter, would be very tough in expensive London.

"With the skills I have acquired here, I will try to maybe be more interesting for people to hire me and for me to be able to find work," Weichert said.

Life in Argentina is more relaxed than in London, where constant troubling news about company collapses has put everyone in a bad mood, said Anna Templeton, 27, from England.

Templeton was working as a media freelancer in London, but last October when her latest contract job was coming to an end she could not find other work.   Continued...