Saturday September 20, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
27o C
19o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Quality of life in Athens lowest in western Europe, survey suggests

Athens offers its residents the worst quality of life of any city in western Europe, according to the latest global survey from consultant group Mercer.

Earlier this year, the company’s researchers found that Athens was the world’s 78th most expensive city for non-locals, among 214 cities.

Vienna has the best quality of life of any city in the world and Baghdad the worst, Mercer found

The Austrian capital with 1.7 million residents came top of the survey for the fourth year in a row, boasting of a vibrant cultural scene alongside comprehensive health care and moderate but rising housing costs. Its opulent architecture from the time of the Habsburg empire makes it a tourist magnet.

The reliable public transport system costs just 1 euro (81 pence) a day for an annual pass in a city governed by left-leaning Social Democrats and environmentalist Greens.

Mercer conducts its annual survey to help companies and organisations set compensation for staff on international assignments. It uses 39 factors such as political stability, health care, education, crime, recreation and transport.

Anna Staribacher, a 24-year-old student, praised her home town's safe streets and abundance of parks and woodlands.

"Austria is a wealthy country, we have low unemployment and free university access. Living is affordable and prices are still moderate by international standards. But I wonder why people are still so grumpy all the time?"

Despite its sovereign debt crisis, Europe has 15 of the world's top 25 cities in the 2012 survey. Germany and Switzerland each have three in the top 10.

"Overall, European cities continue to have high quality of living as a result of a combination of increased stability, rising living standards and advanced city infrastructures,» said Slagin Parakatil, senior researcher at Mercer.

"But economic turmoil, political tension and high unemployment in some European countries and high levels of unemployment have continued to be problematic in the region."

Canadian cities dominated rankings in the Americas region, with Vancouver at number five retaining the top spot and Honolulu at 28 the most pleasant U.S. urban centre.

New Zealand's Auckland at number three is still atop the Asia Pacific region's charts, while Dubai at 73 gets best marks in the Middle East and Africa.

But that region also has 15 cities in the bottom 20, including Lagos, Nigeria; Bamako, Mali; Khartoum, Sudan; and N'Djamena, Chad. Iraq's capital Baghdad was ranked lowest in the world.

"The ongoing turmoil in many countries across North Africa and the Middle East has led to serious security issues for locals and expatriates,» Parakatil said. «Many countries continue to experience violence through political demonstrations that have sometimes developed into massive uprisings and led to serious instability within the region."

This is a far cry from Vienna, which has held the top spot in the Mercer rankings since 2009.

[Kathimerini English Edition & Reuters]

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday December 4, 2012 (13:08)  
Mayors resisting evaluation to face disciplinary action
Fyssas rally demonstrators face prosecutor after clashes
PM in energy talks ahead of crucial meeting with Merkel
Attiki Odos Lamia exit to close Sunday
Record sum of new debts to the state in August
Expired debts to the state rose to a record high in August, according to data released on Friday by the Finance Ministry. The sum of taxes and fines that remained unpaid after their deadline...
‘Greece can meet its needs on its own’
Greece will be able to meet its obligations without any new assistance from the International Monetary Fund, Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis said on Friday in London, leaving the door ope...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Triumph for PAOK, historic result for Asteras in Europa League
Greek teams produced a patchy record on the opening night of the Europa League group stage on Thursday, as PAOK thrashed Dynamo Minsk, Asteras Tripolis snatched a draw at Besiktas and Panath...
SOCCER
Financial crisis forces Greek second division postponement
Greece's second soccer division Football League announced on Wednesday the postponement of the start of the season due to financial difficulties being faced by most clubs. "The board of dire...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
High stakes after the Scottish vote
We will soon know whether the Scots voted for their country’s independence or whether they will remain citizens of the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.” What was alread...
EDITORIAL
Breathing room
Even Greece’s biggest critics find it hard to deny that the debt-hit country has achieved an unprecedented fiscal turnaround within a very short period of time. Sure, progress in promoting t...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Record sum of new debts to the state in August
2. ‘Greece can meet its needs on its own’
3. Mayors resisting evaluation to face disciplinary action
4. Fyssas rally demonstrators face prosecutor after clashes
5. PM in energy talks ahead of crucial meeting with Merkel
6. Attiki Odos Lamia exit to close Sunday
more news
Today
This Week
1. ‘Greece can meet its needs on its own’
2. Record sum of new debts to the state in August
3. Hardouvelis signals Greece may skip IMF loans to exit aid curbs
4. EIB signs deals with Greece for 815-mln investment in infrastructure projects
5. Dozens of arrests at march to mark anniversary of Fyssas murder
6. Syntagma metro station to close for Fyssas tribute concert
Today
This Week
1. Greece on standby
2. Greece at bottom of social justice scale among EU28
3. Central Athens traffic restrictions back in force on Monday
4. Lost in the fog
5. Democracy under Pressure | Live Streaming
6. SYRIZA spokesman suggests gov't sought to stop NERIT airing Tsipras speech live
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.