Sofia 'Most Dangerous City in EU'
The Bulgarian capital Sofia is the fifth most dangerous city in Europe and the most dangerous in the European Union, a study shows.
Moscow, St Petersburg, Kiev and Belgrade have bottomed the personal safety ranking in a recent report of US think-tank Mercer.
The survey, which was published before the attacks in Brussels last week, includes issues such as petty and organized crime and riots and has not included Belgium's capital in the ranking. Stability, rule of law, geopolitical security are also taken into consideration.
Within the EU, Sofia is followed by Bucharest, Zagreb, Riga, Tallinn, Athens, Warsaw, and Budapest - all cities located in Central, Eastern or Southeastern Europe.
Belfast (the EU's No 11), Milan (14), and Barcelona (No 15) are the only cities that are not capitals of European states, but are included in the ranking.
"European cities also dominate the top of the personal safety ranking with Luxembourg in the lead, followed by Bern, Helsinki, and Zurich, which are tied for the number-two spot. Vienna ranks 5th; Geneva and Stockholm are placed jointly in 6th; and Copenhagen, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, and Nurnberg all share 11th place," according to Mercer.
"A number of key or capital cities do rank considerably lower as many suffered either terrorist attacks or social unrest in the last few years; examples include Paris (71), London (72), Madrid (84), and Athens (124). The recent political and economic turmoil in Greece, which resulted in violent demonstrations in Athens and other cities in the country, has undermined its safety ranking. Kiev (189), St. Petersburg (197), and Moscow (206) rank lowest for personal safety in the region."
Separately, Sofia ranks 116th in the global Quality of Living ranking, which leaves it last in the EU, out of 230 cities.
Istanbul in neighboring Turkey comes 122nd in that ranking, while Belgrade is 141st followed by Sarajevo (158), Skopje (159), Moscow (167), Kiev (176), and Minsk (190).
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