PETER Preston’s article ‘Europe’s real family values’ (May 29) is interesting, though his statistical analysis is not correct.
He fails to mention certain other more relevant connections of national attitudes.
He extols family values and gives as an example that 40 per cent of grandparents in Italy, Spain and Greece provide childcare for parents, while 20 per cent of grandparents do so in Sweden, France and Denmark.
He ignores the fact that Sweden, France and Denmark provide generous social welfare support to families, while Italy and Spain lag behind in the provision of maternity and paternity benefits, and elder care support might have something to do with that statistic.
Just as with lack of official financial assistance in Pakistan, families put in the bill.
France has a strong pro-natal policy with incentives to encourage people to have larger families and boost the population.
Italy and Spain have some of the lowest fertility rates in the world and assuming current trends continue without significant immigration, they are projected to suffer population crashes.
And if unemployment reaches astronomical levels in Spain, people will migrate overseas; they are not necessarily going to return to their home villages.
SHARIF LONE Nidderau, Germany