With Italy's new laws against sleeping, eating, drinking, and singing in public all aimed at making the place more pleasant (or less, if you fancy a chianti and snooze al fresco) you'd think it'd be in the top two European countries with the best quality of life. Not so amigos, as Bush would say.
Let's start at the bottom: The poor UK has the lowest quality of life in Europe — even though Brits earn the most — according to research released yesterday.
That money can't buy them happiness — they pay a king's ransom for essential goods: 18 percent above the average for diesel, 49 percent more for gas, and 5 percent more for electricity. Life expectancy in jolly old England is the third-lowest at 78.9 years, and the constantly gray sky might be a culprit: Britain gets 80 percent less sunshine than Spain, leading more than 40,000 people to flee in 2006.
They might have run right to Spain, which claims the number one slot among those studied, offering the best quality of life in Europe — even though salaries are below average. Old number two is France thanks to their unbelievably great vacation policy, at 40 days per year.
Where would you live in the ol' EU? Does France's commitment to time off strike your fancy?