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Last Updated: Monday, 1 March, 2004, 04:17 GMT
London life is 'among EU's worst'
Bus queues
London transport was among services assessed
People living in London have among the worst quality of life in Europe, a survey has found.

London was ranked 11th out of the 15 capitals in the European Union (EU), in the Mercer Human Resource Consulting survey.

Only Madrid, Lisbon, Rome and Athens provided worse health, recreation, transport, and housing services.

The survey helps governments and major companies to place employees on international assignments.

The English capital fell to 12th in the rankings for health and sanitation.

I wouldn't deny London has its share of problems, not least caused by years of under-investment in its infrastructure.
Mayor of London Ken Livingstone

A total of 215 cities worldwide were analysed in the survey.

Countries are judged on the quality and availability of hospital and medical supplies, air pollution and infectious disease levels, efficiency of waste removal and sewage systems, the amount of drinkable water and the number of harmful animals and insects.

London ranked 35 in the overall list, up four places from last year.

Dublin fared better, ranking eighth in Europe and 23rd overall - the same position as the previous year.

The best quality of life can be found in the Swiss cities of Zurich and Geneva, while the healthiest place to live is Calgary, in Canada, the survey said.

'Real improvements'

The worst city for quality of life is Baghdad following the recent war and problems with infrastructure.

Zurich is clean and nice and safe but compared with London it's very dull
Robert, Zurich, Switzerland

Slagin Parakatil, a senior researcher at Mercer said: "Most of the low-scoring cities are in developing countries which have insufficient resources and infrastructure for good sanitation."

But London Mayor Ken Livingstone defended his city.

He said: "London is one of the great world cities. I wouldn't deny it has its share of problems, not least caused by years of under-investment in its infrastructure.

"But this is being turned around and we are now seeing real improvements in those areas which do impact on the quality of life in London."

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17 Feb 04  |  London

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