Ireland has toppled the U.K. as the European country where private equity and venture capital are most likely to succeed, according to a KPMG survey. In the new poll of 25 countries, conducted on behalf of the European Private Equity & Venture Capital Association, the U.K. drops to third place, while France moves up to second, as last years No. 2 falls to eighth. Romania, Slovenia and Czech Republic were rated least favorable for p.e. and VC. According to Financial News, each country is rated on scale of one to three, covering 203 variables in three areas: tax/legal environment for investors and managers; range of portfolio companies; and level of staff retention. The U.K. appears to have suffered from the bad publicity associated with a new tax regime on the drawing board; a report by Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation stated that proposed new levies would have a negative impact on the countrys competitiveness and encourage to shop elsewhere on the continent for a forum offering better tax relief. The U.K. Treasury, according to FN, has said it was standing firm in its policy despite the survey results. "The conditions in the U.K. are the best in Europe," according to a Treasury spokesman.