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Spain is second-best place in Europe to live – and the UK is the worst
By thinkSPAIN Team Sun, Sep 26, 2010
SPAIN has been hailed as the second-best country to live in Europe, according to a study by uSwitch.
The UK came out bottom of the list, as the worst place to live, and France held onto its number one ranking for the second year running.
In fact, the UK even came below Poland, which was in fourth place, despite the fact that one in three Polish children suffer from malnutrition and poverty – whilst not as extreme as 20 years ago – continues to reign.
Denmark came third, and Germany was in fifth place.
The research was based on government spending on healthcare and education, retirement age, holiday time, pensions and net household income.
At present, Spain's average retirement pension ranges from 500 to 900 euros a month, depending largely upon region, and state retirement age is 65 – although this is expected to rise to 67, despite protests from both workers and unions.
The amount of holiday time residents in Spain have is arguably among the highest on the continent, with a minimum of 30 'natural' days per annum, plus anything up to 15 bank holidays a year, varying from town to town.
But the UK – according to further research by Aviva Insurance and Deloitte & Touche Accountants – has the lowest state pension in the whole of Europe, with British residents having to put aside prohibitive sums of money every month from their late teens to their mid-60s to avoid poverty after retirement.
In Spain, among other European countries, the concept of a private pension is relatively uncommon and saving for such plans rare except among those with a high level of disposable income.
And the UK also lost points for its poor record of government spending on education and healthcare, with the latter being considered among the least satisfactory in the EU.
Finally, Britain no longer boasts having the highest net household income in Europe – whilst last year, it was 10,000 pounds (11,729 euros) more than the average for the continent, is is now only 2,314 pounds (2,714 euros) above the average – falling below Holland, Ireland and Denmark.
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