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Page last updated at 16:53 GMT, Tuesday, 23 September 2008 17:53 UK

Brussels is 'EU burglary capital'

Burglar (file pic)
Burglaries plague Brussels, but car thefts are most common in Italy

Brussels is not only the hub of European Union business - it is also the burglary capital of the EU, according to a new survey.

The Urban Audit report puts Brussels just ahead of London, with 11.2 domestic burglaries per 1,000 residents, among the 27 EU capitals.

The wide-ranging survey by the EU statistical body Eurostat includes various quality-of-life data.

It says Almere in the Netherlands is the EU's fastest-growing city.

The data released on Tuesday was mostly collected in 2004.

Cambridge in the UK tops the list for people employed in the service sector - 94.4%, followed by Luxembourg with 93.3%.

In contrast, Greek cities dominate the list for self-employed people, forming the top eight in that category, followed by two Italian cities. Self-employment is very rare in Scandinavia, with rates below 5%.

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Seven of the 10 cities with the highest unemployment rates are in Poland, the survey says.

Urban Audit covers 321 cities, with populations ranging from 50,000 to 10 million in the EU member states, as well as 26 Turkish cities, six in Norway and four in Switzerland.

All the cities with the highest proportion of elderly people are in Italy, with the sole exception of Lisbon in Portugal.

Five of the 10 fastest-growing cities are in Turkey, but top of the list is Almere in the Netherlands, a city created only in 1984 to accommodate the population overflow from Amsterdam.


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