Living in Greece

A practical guide to moving, living, working & traveling in Greece, plus musing and misadventures from an American in Athens

Archive for September, 2007

Athens, Greece: Quality of living vs. cost of living comparison 2007

Please be aware that updated rankings for quality of living and cost of living from Mercer are available for 2008.

Cost of Living Greece 2008” and “Athens, Greece: Quality of Living ranking 2008

Top 50 Cities for 2007

The Top 50 cities with the best quality of living, according to Mercer.

1. Zurich
2. Geneva
3. Vancouver (tie)
3. Vienna (tie)
5. Auckland (tie)
5. Dusseldorf (tie)
7. Frankfurt
8. Munich
9. Bern (tie)
9. Sydney (tie)
11. Copenhagen
12. Wellington
13. Amsterdam
14. Brussels
15. Toronto
16. Berlin
17. Melbourne
18. Luxembourg (tie)
18. Ottawa (tie)
20. Stockholm
21. Perth
22. Montreal
23. Nuremberg
24. Calgary (tie)
24. Hamburg (tie)
26. Oslo
27. Dublin
28. Honolulu
29. San Francisco
30. Adelaide
31. Helsinki
32. Brisbane
33. Paris
34. Singapore
35. Tokyo
36. Lyon (tie)
36. Boston (tie)
38. Yokohama
39. London
40. Kobe
41. Barcelona
42. Madrid (tie)
42. Osaka (tie)
44. Washington DC (tie)
44. Chicago (tie)
46. Portland
47. Lisbon
48. New York City
49. Milan (tie)
49. Seattle (tie)

The analysis is based on an evaluation of 39 quality of living criteria for each of 215* cities including political, social, economic and environmental factors, personal safety and health, education, transport and other public services. Mercer Human Resource Consulting performs this assessment on an annual basis to determine living conditions for expatriate employees.

While some dispute that this is not realistic and does not apply to the everyday person, it is important to point out that expats use the same public services, institutions and spaces as locals. Therefore, it is essentially a quality of living analysis for all residents.

In the end, it all comes down to personal preferences, circumstances and options. One man’s castle is another man’s ghetto.

To see the original version of this Top 50 list, click here.

Ranking of all cities surveyed

Mercer surveys 350 cities, however it excludes certain cities that rank consistently and includes others for the sake of diversity or to measure fluctuation in areas of crises or growth (i.e. Baghdad, Beijing).

To see all of the city rankings for 2007, click here.

Where’s Athens?

Although Athens, Greece was found to be the 29th most expensive city in the world, it did not rate in the Top 50 for quality of living and called third dirtiest city in Europe by TripAdvisor. It remains a “city we love to hate.”

The Greek capital was again the lowest ranked city in Europe at number 78. It moved up one spot from #79 in 2006, however it is important to remember it also jumped up 30 places on the cost of living survey. Bottom line, cost of living is outpacing quality of living by quite a large margin.

One could argue that it’s a vast improvement from its ranking of #196 in 2002 before the Olympics, but this is when prices were still relatively low. Greece receives millions in EU funding that could easily land it in the Top 50. website metrics

Related posts

Minimum salaries vs. cost and quality of living in the EU
Mercer’s Quality of Living 2008
Consumers pay double for basics in Greece, compared to other EU nations

The first time I drove in Athens

Greek traffic policePhoto from Getty Images

The first time I drove in Athens was today.

You may be asking, “You’ve been here 10 years, how is that possible?” The answer is: There has never been reason or opportunity until now.

Read the rest of this entry »

Greek govt continues on wrong environmental path


Environment Minister George Souflias kicked off another New Democracy term by:

– Supporting forest reclassifications based on aerial photographs from 1960 and not 1945, thus including less razed forestland in the forest registry for protection and reforestation; the EU has repeatedly warned Greece to not do it

– Opposing a separate Environment Ministry, which Karamanlis promised would be set up in pre-election speeches (he’s now backed down)

– Saying he will stop the Finance Ministry from allowing the Municipality of Zacharo to develop parts of burnt beachfront property

– Paving the way to legalize hundreds of illegally constructed buildings, which he justifies will contribute to the local economy

– Playing down the advice of experts who believe a sensitive ecosystem protected by the EU’s Natura 2000 program will be disrupted; in addition to ignoring the fact that less forestland in the registry will amount to less oxygen for Athens

Summarized and compiled from this Kathimerini article and those attributed above

Related posts

See “Environment
website metrics

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