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Old December 22nd, 2016, 11:57 PM   #35121
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No, no.... it is the same kind of teletext here. The game was just kind of "maze" and the dating worked through text messages (which were obviously charged)

Ah okay, so it was the same...
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Old December 23rd, 2016, 02:15 AM   #35122
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I have a question for members from the Eastern EU (i.e. post-communist countries). The average monthly salaries are reported to be € 700 - 1100. That sounds low by Dutch standards, but of course the cost of living is lower.

But what do you generally pay for rent or mortgage? I've read that in some countries a considerable share of the population lives in a house with no outstanding mortgage or rent. In that case, the purchasing power of a € 1000/month salary may be more comparable to € 1500 - 1800 in western Europe.

In the Netherlands the general rental cost for social housing is between € 400 - 700 per month (excluding utilities). But in the unregulated market, rents over € 1000/month are more common.

It's interesting to get some better insight into the cost of living differences, some of which you may not experience as a brief visitor or tourist. Especially since housing is by far the largest component in the cost of living for most people, which you do not see as a tourist.
Many have already responded. I will add my two cents.

Communism really cared about people getting cheap housing, rent free even non refundable loans, flats decrees coming with a job, self provided construction (e.g. using public resources to build private houses - basically stealing from the socialistic property). Just take all those commie-blocks. Yeah, they still stand, and although bashed and hated, those flats prices rises as well. Those that got the housing in the communism times came to it at not so high price. Another chance was the yearly years after communism. Inflation was high and it was easy to invest into cheap privatized housing, or construction, even with loans.

The years after that, it's a different world. People either inherited (including restitution of the nationalized properties in CZ/SK) them (with no inheritance taxes CZ/SK), or they needed to get a mortgage. The developers came, the big owners came, the restitutiones kicked in and the private owners required rent which was completely deregulated (CZ). There are also big differences in the property prices depending on location. Its still possible to get really cheap property in the undesirable regions or from various debt auctions. Also, you have many multi generation properties in EE.

On the upside, the property prices have risen tremendously of course in the last 30 years. The drawback of this is that most of the housing is now privatized, there exists virtually no social housing (might differ per country), and no really any sensible governmental housing policy. This is not such a big a problem as the population is stagnating. The only problem is that there appear socially excluded localities. Those without a income (socially weak) receive relatively high governmental subsidies to pay overpriced rents (CZ), that flow directly into the hands of the property owners that don't do a shit about their property and people are living in terrible conditions. Luckily there's not much of them and mostly it goes about one certain specific minority.

PS: a big difference compared with the Netherlands are the property taxes. They are virtually non existent. We are talking 100 - 200 € yearly for a 200K and more property value (CZ).
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Old December 23rd, 2016, 01:09 PM   #35123
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PS: a big difference compared with the Netherlands are the property taxes. They are virtually non existence. We are talking 100 - 200 € yearly for a 200K and more property value (CZ).
Several years ago the Hungarian government tried to introduce property tax, actually a real estate tax. However it failed.
Example: my parents built a family house in the 1970's (I, too, grew up in this house and am sitting in that currently as I visite them for Christmas :-)). Both of them are retired now. In the same street about the half of houses has the same or very similar story.
The house has a virtual value of approx. 40 million forint, i.e. € 130,000. Tax would have been some € 4-500 yearly (I can't remember precisely) which is very much money for them, they could have not paid it. Theoretically they could sell the house but if every second house in the street is suddenly to be sold, the chance, to really sell them, is very low.
So, not every one that has a virtually expensive house is a rich man...
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Old December 23rd, 2016, 01:23 PM   #35124
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Italy has a real estate property tax, excluding primary residences (but including those particularly expensive like castles, villas, etc). This tax is one of the most important revenues for municipalities.
In the past, primary residences also had to pay it, and if I'm not mistaken, it was quite steep. It was so unpopular that, a couple of years ago, it was modified excluding primary residences.
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Old December 23rd, 2016, 02:10 PM   #35125
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In spain we have to pay for the primary ones , you're lucky
but we dont pay any tv licence fee
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Old December 23rd, 2016, 05:02 PM   #35126
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The German Statistical Office (Statistisches Bundesamt) published actual statistics (in German) about flats (family houses are included). However, the data is a little bit obsolete, is of 2014, especially rental fees increased heavily even in this two years.
There are in Germany 41 millions of flats, in 45.5 percent lives the owner, 54.5 are to rent.
Average rental fee is € 473, and takes in average 27.2% of household income.
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Old December 23rd, 2016, 05:15 PM   #35127
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Well I pay something... but it is just symbolic... approximately 20 € for our flat. I also pay 40 € for dog (it depends on the borough of Bratislava, each can set it according to their policy). From 1st of March 2017 a new parking policy is to be kicked off. The main goal is to persuade people to became inhabitants of Bratislava (to have a permanent residence). If you have BA/BL licence plate, your parking will be for free.

A permanent residence is crucial for local public money budget. The whole amount of money collected from income tax all around Slovakia (the portion of different taxes is incredibly high - it takes 520 € from my salary) is allocated within regions and communes according to the certain formula where population is the most essential (there is also some demography or altitude factor, etc.).

There is a lot of people in Bratislava that are basically living here but they have their permanent residence elsewhere. That means they are using the public equipment but do not contribute to its maintenance. Their money flows to their communes where they do not reside.

So perhaps I do not pay too much for my property directly, quite a huge amount of money is taken from my salary to cover the public administration costs though.

An example:
if you earn 2000 € / month (not my case :-) ):
you cost your employer 2704 €

from the 2000 € you are taken
- 80 € to health insurance
- 28 € to hospital stay insurance
- 80 € to retirement insurance
- 60 € to disability insurance
- 20 € to unemployment insurance
(it adds up to 268 € for levies in total)
- 272 € to income tax

So your net salary would be 1459 €
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Last edited by volodaaaa; December 23rd, 2016 at 05:24 PM.
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Old December 24th, 2016, 03:12 PM   #35128
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Youtube is great once you get a nice selection of good channels.

I like science channels (outside my professional domain) such as Veritasium, Smarter Every Day, Numberphile, Physics Girl, standupmaths and VSauce, for instance.

The cost of semi-professional video production shrank a lot, several of these youtubers have very high-quality production uploaded there.

I have also not owned a TV for years now.

-----------------------

A coworker of mine is fuming in anger at the Dutch railway company (NS). Late 2015 he had bought a house in another town, a small one but served by rail, and started commuting back-and-forth by train. He had carefully selected a bargain-price house near a small station with a one-seat train connection to our workplace (which is also close to another secondary station).

Last week, the entire train network of the region has been redesigned. Changes are mostly for the better, taking advantage of an underused high-speed line around which all other trains were re-timed or re-routed to provide faster connections.

Anyway, in his case, the train that served his commuting route has been severed into two separate services, requiring a connection along the way. Total travel time has gone up from 27min to 45min including 21min waiting time at the intermediate station, and he's furious.
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Old December 24th, 2016, 04:24 PM   #35129
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California 'tire chains'. This guy was stopped on I-80 near Truckee, California.

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Old December 24th, 2016, 06:07 PM   #35130
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Anyway, in his case, the train that served his commuting route has been severed into two separate services, requiring a connection along the way. Total travel time has gone up from 27min to 45min including 21min waiting time at the intermediate station, and he's furious.
Well, he had the house for an affordable price, right? The price has to payed in some other way.
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Old December 24th, 2016, 06:13 PM   #35131
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Well, he had the house for an affordable price, right? The price has to payed in some other way.
It's a fixer up thing. He showed me the pics. It's a standalone house. So far he and his wife fixed just half of the rooms and one bathroom and kitchen. In the future they will fix the other 2 bedrooms, rebuild the roof with solar panels and the attic (houses often have a half room that is under the roof with tilted walls. As a result here in NL they will often advertise both area (surface) and volume on real estate ads.
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Old December 24th, 2016, 08:59 PM   #35132
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Where is this photo taken? There's a hoax on the net saying it's A3 in Italy.
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In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old December 24th, 2016, 09:09 PM   #35133
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Piacenza, 30 April 2009.
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Old December 24th, 2016, 09:24 PM   #35134
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Where is this photo taken? There's a hoax on the net saying it's A3 in Italy.
A3 is a motorway. This evidently is not.
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Old December 24th, 2016, 09:31 PM   #35135
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A3 is a motorway. This evidently is not.
Tell that to ignorant people who believe in evertything they read.
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“The transponder’s personalised signal would be picked up when the car passed through an intersection, and then relayed to a central computer which would calculate the charge according to the intersection and the time of day and add it to the car’s bill” - Nobel Economics Prize winner William Vickrey, proposing a system of electronic tolling for the Washington metropolitan area, 1959
In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.

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Old December 24th, 2016, 09:33 PM   #35136
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Tell that to ignorant people who believe in evertything they read.
Then don't tell them but let them read it
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Old December 24th, 2016, 10:02 PM   #35137
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My sister has just met a bear on the road Postojna-Rijeka (in Slovenia). Be careful on your way to Croatia.
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Old December 24th, 2016, 10:13 PM   #35138
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No new bear signs yet?

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Old December 25th, 2016, 02:01 AM   #35139
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Western Europe should be kept bear- and big cat- free. If bears keep expanding their range and repopulate the Alps, it will make them unsafe for solo hiking and the like. I read bears and wolverines are an issue in Scandinavia. No need for these animals in the Alps or the Pyrenees
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Old December 25th, 2016, 03:03 AM   #35140
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Well, there're no Alps or Pyrenees between Postojna and Rijeka. You can meet bears in not particularly interesting parts of Slovenia (dark forests), although they're also in some tourist areas, like south of Ljubljana, lol.

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