Paris choked at failing expat quality of life survey

21st September 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Sept 21 (AFP) - The relatively low ranking of Paris on a survey of quality of life in cities around the world for expatriate workers triggered bemusement in a leading French financial newspaper Tuesday.

PARIS, Sept 21 (AFP) - The relatively low ranking of Paris on a survey of quality of life in cities around the world for expatriate workers triggered bemusement in a leading French financial newspaper Tuesday.  

Les Echos expressed surprise that the French capital ranked 31 out of 215 cities graded in the annual survey by the international consultancy Mercer Human Resources Consulting.  

"Lovers of the City of Light can only choke when they discover the mediocre rating given to Paris," it said. It admitted, though, that Paris traffic, red tape, and France's culture of labour unrest may have something to do with that.  

The study, completed in April this year, put Zurich, Geneva and Vancouver at the top of the chart for expatriates and their families.   Baghdad was considered the worst city on the list.  

The Mercer coordinator of the survey, Slagin Parakatil, told AFP that the survey used 39 parameters including crime, pollution, transport, education, housing and leisure activities to evaluate each city.  

"Each of these criteria had a specific preponderance, so for instance levels of crime would be more important than something like leisure because it could have a bigger effect" on the experiences of an expat, he said.  

He added that the survey, which used New York as the benchmark city (itself rating only 38 on the list), did not take into account currency exchange rates.  

What it did do was provide a guide to multinational companies when it came to calculating hardship allowances - "something that started at Prague," he said.  

Most of the cities in the top 50 were in Europe, North America and Japan. New Zealand's Auckland was put in the fifth spot with the same score as Sydney (in 9th spot).  

Switzerland did so well in part because of its low pollution index and good services and infrastructure.

© AFP

 

Subject: French News

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