>Ask yourself why Europe uses a ~230V/240V electricity
Apart from the economical reasons as outlined by yourself, I always assumed it was a safety issue. I was taught that current kills not Voltage. A static shock has huge tension but non-existent current whereas a toaster in the bathtub has (relatively) low voltage and high current.
Can a sparky weigh in on this for me?
Not that I'd go licking the sockets in any country.
Increase the voltage (EMF) presented across a load, and your current increases.
So, no, it isn't safer. (Assuming Europeans have roughly the same electrical resistance of their skin as Americans)
The reason electrostatic charge is not normally harmful is because of how quickly the charge is dissipated. (usually microseconds)