The Alentejo is the largest and poorest region of Portugal. Cooperatives and other social initiatives that arose after the Carnation Revolution in 1974 were later closed under pressure from the European Union. It was hoped that massive investments would make Portugal a role model for economic development, but the financial crisis has revealed the flaws in those dreams. And more complex legal regulations make life even harder for traditional small scale producers. However, they continue to use and defend local markets even in the face of criminalisation.