Fichier:Simplified Languages of Europe map-fr.svg

Each year, two global surveys Mercer’s Quality of Living Survey, and the Economist Intelligence Unit Liveability Index, measure metrics such as crime rates, healthcare, infrastructure, quality of water, levels of corruption, culture and education, down to availability of sporting facilities and environmental concerns. They then decide which cities in the world are the best to live and thrive in.

The top 15 are:

15 Brussels

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14 Düsseldorf

13 Oslo

12 Munich

n lux 11th

11 Luxembourg City

10 Berlin

9 Paris

8 Hamburg

7 Amsterdam

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6 Helsinki

5 Geneva

4 Frankfurt

3 Zurich

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2 Copenhagen

Image result for vienna

 1 Vienna



  1. When the Iron Curtain was up, Vienna felt like a kind of stuffy backwater on the way to nowhere, but it was right at the end of my involvement of the place when the Hungarians first opened up the frontier and let Hungarians travel. It was pretty amazing… Now, with the Czech, Slovakian and Hungarian borders all open, and the borders on the south as well, Vienna must be buzzing again.

    When I was there, it had wonderful public transport, and I expect it still does. Unlike the UK, you can get to more places at the weekend – and on Sundays – because the Austrians judge that the weekends are when ordinary people have the leisure to travel. Within the city, the timetables on every tram and bus stop carry an apology for when the frequency of the service drops to only one every quarter of an hour. It was all at a very reasonable price too.

    They were never stupid enough to get rid of their trams. Another thing: – you get your electricity from the city, which strikes me as a good idea, though maybe that’s all changed. Obviously, not all of it, if it’s top of the list you’ve given us, Tris.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Vienna is still a marvellous place. I was there a couple of years ago. Clean, beautiful, of course, efficient, quite expensive. But everything runs like clockwork.

      Lovely place.


  2. There must be a mistake in the data.
    Surely all these places were ‘freed’ by Englandland forces during the last major conflict, as reported in 1984.
    I’m looking forward to seeing Edinburgh and Glasgow making an appearance in the list when we’re free.
    Loved my spell in Hanover, a great place to stay with co-ordinated public transport ans cheap too.
    Ponting has said it all, they’re corrupt in westmonster and we need to drop them as our management team.
    We can manage ourselves, we have the talent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I saw the Ponting’s piece at Wings.

      I’ve always thought that the Tories would like to disband the Scottish parliament and have a one nation state.

      Brexit may give them the chance to do that.


  3. I have this quaint idea – no laughing at the back there! – that one of our Scottish cities might make that list one day, but we’d need to work on it, obviously… do you think we need – what’s it called – thingmie – you know – begins with an I, but it’s not impotence – first?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I apologize for my evil twin Kevin. What I meant to say was that I found it particularly interesting that the Norwegians have strict limits on foreign ownership of their domestic media (see, for example, Normally, it’s restricted to ⅓ of the equity, so that would put the kibosh on rather a lot of the “Scottish” newspapers. There’s a list on Wikipedia – – but if you look at the ones described as “Scottish”, a lot of them – most of them – aren’t actually under Scottish ownership, and as we know, “editorial freedom” is a myth and an illusion in today’s UK.

      The advantages of having restrictions on foreign ownership of our media are obvious: we would know what was actually home-grown and what wasn’t. And I haven’t mentioned the BBC yet, have I, or all those mind-numbing franchised “local” radio stations?

      Wouldn’t it be luvverly if there were no connections of any kind between BeeB England and BeeB Pacific Quay, and ALL the money collected in Scotland in BBC tax stayed in Scotland and decisions on what to buy in were made here rather than dahn sahth? Betcha it would be more than the £100 million which the National today is claiming BBC Scotland sends to London as a “subsidy” – because so many of us refuse to pay the tax at all, but might do if the BBC became the SBC and actually acted like it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Murdoch, an Australian, took American citizenship so that he could have him American newspaper empire, clearly a much more profitable business than having an Australian empire.

        It’s not just Scotland that has largely foreign owned press.

        England does too.

        The money extracted from Scotland to be spent in London in a scandal.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The BBC tax is not the only thing, of course, but it is rather representative of the whole Scottish financial “problem”. Remember the financial “black hole”? Stu Campbell, among others, has talked about this, but let me try to put it into my own words, because I know some Munguinites have had a bit of difficulty following the argument, so let me have a go at giving them one of those Aha! moments. (It is well known that I have a very peculiar brain, but as there is no cure, please just put up with it. I have to, after all.)

          The thing is, there’s another way of looking at the figures, by which I mean the GERS figures – Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland . Now, I’m doing this from memory so don’t take it as gospel, please. If you avoid getting lost in a forest of highly misleading figures and guesswork and deliberate falsification, the tax take from Scotland is about £58 billion. Spend by Scottish Government: £30 billion. Westminster charges for services/ expenditures, and takes the remaining £28 billion, but claims it spends £40 billion in Scotland out of sheer generosity and the goodness of its heart. This gives us Jockanese a supposed financial “black hole” of £12 billion. That’s the Unionist take on it, though you’ll see it most often rounded to £15 billion.

          The other way of looking at it is that Scotland spends almost as much outwith Scotland as it does domestically, i.e., £30 billion within against £28 billion outwith. Of that £28 billion, a rather large chunk is interest on the enormous debt run up by Westminster regimes. Now, government debt is not a bad thing in itself; if we didn’t have it, there would be no national savings or Treasury bonds that pension funds and the like rely on. But debt that is too high a percentage of GDP starts to cost too much to service comfortably. I’m sure we’ve all had that problem at least once in our lives, though our own personal economics does not translate well at all onto a national scale – however much the Usual Suspects think or pretend that it does.

          No country on God’s green Earth voluntarily spends almost half its tax take outwith its own borders. It would have to be mad to do that. If you took any country with a properly functioning economy – Denmark, say – and did the books in the same way as Westminster does Scotland’s, say Denmark was operating as a “region” of Germany like the Usual Suspects think Scotland is of England, Denmark would have a huge “black hole” too, and be too wee, too poor and too stupid to be independent. The Danes would be not just stupid but totes barking to thole such an inequitable and abusive relationship, especially having had one rather like it thrust upon them not all that long ago.

          We really were stupid, I’m afraid, back in 2014, when enough of us were taken in by the barrages and farragos of lies fired off by the pro-dependence camp to prevent us sorting out our own problems rather than being exploited as a scapegoat for someone else’s.

          Another fact is that the total of the “black holes” of the three nations with devolved governments is a very high – a ridiculously high – proportion of the total UK “black hole”, so much so that England carries the lesser share – and by a large margin.

          That is on its face completely improbable given the population ratios, and even if it were true, it would be proof that Westminster regimes’ management of the Jockanese, Tafflandish and Arlenian economies has been and remains so poor that Westminster’s entire management team should have been sacked long ago.

          No wonder the Smith Commission didn’t want us to have full fiscal autonomy. And look – I didn’t mention Brexit even once.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes, indeed, Ed.

            Some of the spend of the Brits here in Scotland is, of course, necessary, and we would spend it too… Indeed we would spend more on pensions and social security.

            But there is a lot that is spent every year in England on our behalf… mostly probably in London, becasue they like to tell us that it is our capital.

            The there are railways that go from London to Birmingham and then maybe one day on to Leeds. Sewers too, I’m told.

            And of course there is punching above our weight. Embassies and consulates everywhere. War wherever we are sent by the taking back control government in London (note we don’t take back control from Washington), and all the tra la las that go with being second most important country in the universe…. queens and princes and palaces, etc.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Yeah, I didn’t get onto the “projects of national significance” that are only “national” if you think that national = English.

              Huge chunks of defence spending. Cost of “national” institutions whose spending is disproportionately within London and the SE. Cost of all the governmental services, currently based in a distant city, which we should be doing for ourselves, employing people here in Scotland rather than – oh, Croydon, for example. It doesn’t take much diversion of tax monies to make a huge difference to a local economy through the economic multiplier effect – you can see the effect of having even limited autonomous governmental functions in Edinburgh. This is why the SE of England is so unlivable (in my opinion), and we should aim to stop the same sort of thing happening in the Lothians and Fife. We should remember too that having to commute to their jobs for too long each working day f*ucks people up generally; you don’t have to quack on about “work-life balance”, I think anyone with any life experience realizes this.

              On which note – I hope the Great and the Good of this land are giving some thought to that particular economic problem of prosperity compounding prosperity on top of prosperity. Some so-called solutions to the problem are actually the reverse: it’s not rocket science to know that if you introduce a cost-of-living “weighting” to wages, as is done in London, you actually aggravate the problem of the price inflation you already get from the spending of so much of the national income – i.e., the UK Government’s tax income from the whole UK – in London, as the capital, and the surrounding region, and exacerbate the inequalities that mean you can buy a palatial pile in Paisley for the price of a three-bedroom bungalow in Bromley.

              If you operate national (UK-wide) economic policy on the basis of keeping the economy of the UK capital and its environs under control, the net result is relative economic depression for everywhere else. We have / will have the same problem in Edinburgh as the capital of devolved Scotland now and independent Scotland in the future. Call it the capital city effect – imagine if Sydney were the political capital of Australia as well as its largest city. That effect is also why Brasilia rather than Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo is capital of Brazil, and why Tanganyika/Zanzibar/Tanzania shifted its capital from Dar es Salaam (Haven of Peace) to Dodoma: these things were done not only and not even primarily for political reasons, but to shift the capital city economic effect to somewhere without other factors that would make you want to put a major city there anyway. In smaller countries, the solution is to decentralize – and IT and telecoms have a role to play in that too.

              Liked by 1 person

  4. OK…..I’m not offended!…..Really I’m not! BUT, in the interest of good natured snarkiness and internet debate, allow me to opine:

    I always enjoy looking at lists of the best and the worst of things made up by European intellectuals, to find out how low they can go in placing the USA on their “best” lists and how high they manage to place the USA on their “worst” lists. So I was not surprised to see that America was nowhere to be seen on a best list of fifteen. What WAS surprising is that on a list of the top 15 from “The Economist Intelligence Unit” which is named the “Global Liveability Index 2018,” EVERY city is in Europe. So maybe this is a list of the EUROPEAN best? Well….no! The website says that Vienna replaced Melbourne as number one this year.

    So would it be too much to ask the Europeans, if only to provide the mere APPEARANCE of intellectual honesty, that a list of the “Global” best include one or two token cities that are NOT in Europe? Melbourne fit the bill nicely last year. Everyone (who doesn’t mind deadly serpents and man-eating crocodiles) likes Australia. Or maybe a token city in the far East? Maybe even North America? Not in the USA of course, but maybe some God-forsaken snow covered place in Canada which was chosen on the basis of environmentally conscious people who are extraordinarily dedicated to trash recycling, excellent small libraries and book stores, and a yearly arts and crafts festival. The sorts of things that wow European intellectuals when they make GLOBAL lists.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. The list was European, Danny, with world ranking is brackets after the European one.

      So Brussels was 15 in Europe and 29 in world rankings. Munich was 12 but 25th in the world.

      I daresay there is a list someone of the best cities worldwide, and in fairness I’m sure that there will be North American ones in that list.

      I wonder if Edinburgh would make it on to a list if it were not British.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Tris……OK, that makes sense. So the issue of Melbourne being replaced by Vienna as number one actually involved the world list, and was not directly pertinent to Vienna being number one on the European list this year. In other words, Melbourne really wouldn’t have been on the European list last year either……although the wording seemed confusing on that point. (However, I confuse easily.) Best and worst lists are fun, but you have to carefully read the criteria applied and take it all with a grain of salt. American list makers love to do the best or the worst among the states…..LOL.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yeah Danny. Vienna was No 1 on the European list last year too.

          Oh they are just a bit of fun and not to be taken too seriously. A bit like Trump really (only he’s not so much about fun!)

          After all, what suits one person might not suit another person.

          I’m wondering which states would turn out to be the best to live in.

          Again, it depends whether you really like it warm, or windy, or cold, or busy, or quiet, or big, or small.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Tris…..Indeed! The proper use of such lists is to figure out what you like and then choose the list that confirms your preconceived bias. 😉 I might choose Berkeley for its world class university. But Berkeley is hostile to cars. I might choose Manhattan for world class cultural amenities on every corner. But it’s too inconvenient and expensive to have a car there. (Too expensive to live there too for that matter.) So as for livability, a car is apparently a big deal for me. Affordable housing would be nice too. There went the Pacific coast, the Atlantic coast, Hawaii……AND all of pricey Europe……LOL.

            Liked by 1 person

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