Migration and inflation remain top concerns for Maltese

Maltese enjoy high life satisfaction and positive image of EU

Staff Reporter
12 May 2014, 4:31pm
Rising inflation is a major concern for Maltese people, individually
Rising inflation is a major concern for Maltese people, individually
Respondents from Malta tend to be more satisfied with the life they lead, than the average EU28 population (EU28-75%; MT-89%), a Eurobarometer survey has found.

In fact, Malta is the ninth country – tied with Germany – whose inhabitants have the most life satisfaction.

Fieldwork was conducted between 2-17 November 2013, with Labour in power and a new budget presented by the new government, factors that may have had some impact on the participants’ responses.

Eurobarometer 80 • Malta by maltatoday

 

Of particular note was the positive employment situation in Malta (EU28-20%; MT-53%), the result of which was only preceded by Germany (60%) and is at par with Luxembourg (53%). In November 2013, only 7,639 individuals from the total population, were registered as unemployed.

Maltese respondents believe that the European Union (EU28-22%; MT-36%), primarily, and also the local government (EU28-22%; MT-31%) are responsible for taking effective actions against the effects of the financial and economic crisis. These same respondents mostly believe that cohesion between EU Member states will help tackle this financial and economic crisis (90%).

Immigration was by far claimed to be the most important issue that Malta is facing at the moment. Results from Malta about this particular issue were also the highest among all the EU28 countries (EU28-12%; MT-63%) and increased by 34 percentage points from Spring 2013.

On the other hand, the rest of the EU countries mentioned unemployment as their country’s foremost concern (49%). The economic situation (19%) and inflation (19%) were mentioned as other important issues facing Malta at the moment – the former of which, however, has decreased by nine percentage points, and the latter, by five percentage points, since the last Eurobarometer.

Moreover, inflation was also the issue that most EU28 respondents – including Malta – stated that they were personally facing (EU28-40%; MT-41%). The second-most mentioned personal issue for the rest of the EU28 countries was unemployment (20%), while that for Maltese respondents was the environment, climate and energy issues (which has decreased in importance by five percentage points and stands at 16%) and immigration (which has increased in importance by seven percentage points and stands at 14%).

When asked to mention the most important issues facing the EU at the moment, both the local and the rest of the EU28 population mostly mentioned the economic situation of the EU (EU28-45%; MT-43%). Local respondents gave much more importance to the issue of immigration (EU28-16%; MT-40%), followed by unemployment – which was the second issue mentioned the most by the EU28 average (EU28-36%; MT-31%).

Contrary to the rest of all other EU countries, respondents from Malta believe that their country is moving in the right direction (EU28-26%; MT-58%), and Malta was the second-most likely country to believe that the European Union is not moving in any direction (EU28-18%; MT-32%).

Malta is among the top six countries whose inhabitants have a positive image of the EU (EU28-31%; MT-41%).

For local respondents, the EU is mostly associated with freedom to travel, study and work anywhere in the EU (EU28-43%; MT-46%) and the Euro (EU28-32%; MT-33%).

Moreover, most Maltese respondents disagree that the EU makes the cost of living cheaper in Europe (EU28-71%; MT-62%) and that the EU is creating the conditions for more jobs in Europe (EU28-52%; MT-33%), albeit to a lesser extent than the EU28 average.

The number of respondents living in Malta, who claimed to have socialised with people from another EU country in November 2013 (69%) might have been affected by the continuous influx of foreigners to the island.

When respondents were given a list of values and were asked to identify which, in their opinion, were the best three that represent the EU, both local respondents and those from the rest of the EU Member States mentioned: “human rights” (EU28-34%; MT-41%(), “peace” (EU28-37%; MT-31%), and “democracy” (EU28-30%; MT-29%).

European citizens were asked about the extent to which they think their country’s population is well informed about European matters. Slightly less than half of Maltese respondents interviewed believe that the Maltese population is well informed. This is considerably higher than the EU28 average (EU28-23%; MT-44%) and the third highest ranking among all EU countries.

Nevertheless, half of local respondents still believe that the local population is generally not well informed about European matters (50%), making Malta among the countries with the lowest percentages in this regard – preceded only by Turkey (39%) and Luxembourg (47%).