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Posts Tagged ‘Portugal


Vienna’s excellent infrastructure, safe streets and good public health service make it the nicest place to live in the world, consulting group Mercer said in a global survey which put Baghdad firmly in last place.

German and Swiss cities also performed especially well in the quality of living rankings, with Zurich, Munich, Duesseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva and Bern in the top 10.

The Austrian capital, with its ornate buildings, public parks and extensive bicycle network recently reduced the cost of its annual public transport ticket to 1 euro a day.

Serious crime is rare and the city of around 1.7 million inhabitants regularly tops global quality of life surveys.

But Mercer warned that top-ranking European cities could not take their position for granted in the survey, which assessed more than 200 cities.

“They are not immune to any decrease of living standards should this (economic) turmoil persist,” Mercer’s senior researcher Slagin Parakatil said on the company’s website.

Rank City Country
1 Vienna Austria
2 Zurich Switzerland
3 Auckland New Zealand
4 Munich Germany
5 Düsseldorf Germany
6 Vancouver Canada
7 Frankfurt Germany
8 Geneva Switzerland
9 Bern Switzerland
9 Copenhagen Denmark
11 Sydney Australia
12 Amsterdam Netherlands
13 Wellington New Zealand
14 Ottawa Canada
15 Toronto Canada
16 Hamburg Germany
17 Berlin Germany
18 Melbourne Australia
19 Luxembourg Luxembourg
20 Stockholm Sweden
21 Perth Australia
22 Brussels Belgium
22 Montreal Canada
24 Nurnberg Germany
25 Singapore Singapore
26 Canberra Australia
26 Dublin Ireland
28 Stuttgart Germany
29 Honolulu, HI United States
30 Adelaide Australia
30 Paris France
30 San Francisco, CA United States
33 Calgary Canada
33 Oslo Norway
35 Helsinki Finland
36 Boston, MA United States
37 Brisbane Australia
38 London United Kingdom
39 Lyon France
40 Barcelona Spain
41 Lisbon Portugal
42 Milan Italy
43 Chicago, IL United States
43 Madrid Spain
43 Washington, DC United States
46 Tokyo Japan
47 New York City, NY United States
48 Seattle, WA United States
49 Kobe Japan
49 Pittsburgh, PA United States
49 Yokohama Japan
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A man checks stock indexes on a screen of a bank in Milan, Italy, Monday, Nov. 28, Photo By Luca Bruno, 16 hrs ago. AP

European leaders rushed Monday to stop a rampaging debt crisis that threatened to shatter their 12-year-old experiment in a common currency and devastate the world economy as a result.

One proposal gaining prominence would have countries cede some control over their budgets to a central European authority. In a measure of how rapidly the peril has grown, that idea would have been unthinkable even three months ago.

World stock markets, glimpsing hope that Europe might finally be shocked into stronger action, staged a big rally. The Dow Jones industrial average in New York rose almost 300 points. In France, stocks rose 5 percent, the most in a month.

More relevant to the crisis, borrowing costs for European nations stabilized. They had risen alarmingly in recent weeks — in Greece, then in Italy and Spain, then across the continent, including in Germany, the strongest economy in Europe.

The yields on benchmark bonds issued by Italy and Germany rose, but only by hundredths of a percentage point. The yield fell 0.1 percentage point on bonds of France, 0.14 points for those of Spain and 0.22 points for Belgium.

Allowing a central European authority to have some control over the budgets of sovereign nations would create a fiscal union in Europe in addition to the monetary union of the 17 countries that share the euro currency.

Some analysts have said that would be a leap toward creating a United States of Europe. More delicately, it would force the nations of Europe to swallow their national pride, cede some sovereignty and agree to strengthen ties with their neighbors rather than fleeing the euro union during the crisis.

The common currency has the problem that the monetary policy is joint, but the fiscal policy is not,” Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, said in a meeting with foreign reporters in Berlin.

The monetary union has existed since the euro was created in 1999, but the European Union, which includes the 17 euro nations and 10 others that use their own currencies, has no central authority over taxing and spending.

Countries like Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Greece and Italy overspent wildly for years and racked up annual budget deficits that have left them with monstrous debt. Italy holds €1.9 trillion in debt, or 120 percent of the size of its economy.

via AP.


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