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Austria not so child-friendly

Austrians see their country less and less child-friendly.

Austria came fourth from bottom in a representative survey from the foundation for Future Questions in Hamburg.

Thirty-one percent of citizens (39 percent in 2010) see Austria as a child-friendly country, the survey shows.

In Denmark, 90 out of a 100 people believe their country to be child-friendly.

The Danish poll results do not surprise the scientific director of the foundation Ulrich Reinhardt. He said: "No mater what you look at – employment of women, number of women in top-jobs, the number of spaces in crèches or the possibility of combining career and family – Denmark is far above the European average.

For this study 11,000 Europeans from the age of 14 were questioned. Spain is in second place, with half its citizens saying their country is child-friendly. In Germany, only one in seven people are happy with the child-friendliness in society.

In Austria, there is a significant difference between Vienna and the rest of the country, Reinhardt said. In the capital city, one in five people are said to be happy with the way children are treated. Amongst university graduates, figures are equally as low. The age of the interviewees also tends to have a negative impact on the satisfaction of child-friendliness.

Reinhardt said: "For Austrians, children-friendliness in everyday life is very important. This means infrastructure which isn't just directed to adults but also to families and children as well as a work environment which lets you combine career and family."

According to Reinhardt, child-friendliness is not just about more kindergarten spaces, all-day schools and more allowances. He said: "Child-friendliness in everyday life also include little things, from the sausage slices at the butchers to neighbours who don't complain if it gets a little loud next door now and again."

Reinhardt calls for more tolerance and respect. He said: "Children's noise is our future." He sees Denmark as success-story. As well as a high degree of emancipation, the importance of family and its social recognition is essential for the child-friendly self-picture.

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