Austria among safest states in the world

Austria has retained its reputation for being one of the most secure places on earth despite being knocked down two spots in the United Nations’ (UN) Global Peace Index (GPI) 2011.The UN announced yesterday (Thurs) it considered Austria as the sixth-safest country in the world.The organisation investigated 153 nations on all continents about factors such as organised conflict levels, number of prisoners, army staff figures and potential for terrorist acts. The number of violent crimes, homicides, nations’ relations with neighbouring countries and the number of violent demonstrations also mattered in the extensive investigation.Corruption perceptions, gender equality, export and import rates, migration statistics, the federal gross domestic product (GDP) were taken into account among other aspects as related indicators.Iceland comes on top in the new GPI ahead of 2010 GPI leader New Zealand. Japan is in third place while Denmark was found to be the safest European Union (EU) member state in fourth positin. Impoverished and civil war-stricken Somalia is last.Austria came fourth in last year’s edition of the annual index. The UN explained that it considered the country’s decision to increase the level of force the police use as an indicator of growing insecurity.Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) deputy chief Maria Fekter – who became the country’s finance minister last month after having acted as its interior minister for three years – argued that more police officers on the streets would help to increase citizens’ feeling secure.