Seeing it all vanish before our eyes: Another top ranking for the Maltese

A Eurobarometer survey shows that the Maltese are the most likely in Europe to think that the landscape in rural areas in their country has been deteriorating since 2010

A Eurobarometer survey shows that the Maltese are the most likely in Europe to think that the landscape in rural areas in their country has been deteriorating since 2010.

While only 25% of respondents in all EU countries think the landscape in rural areas in their country has worsened over the past decade, the percentage increases to 45% in Malta, which is followed by Slovakia (37%), Romania (35%) and Belgium (34%).

Only 33% of the Maltese think the rural landscape improved since 2010 while 16% think it has remained the same.

The survey reflects the intensification of development in rural villages and the surrounding countryside, which came as a result of planning policies approved in the past two decades. These included the extension of building boundaries in 2006 and the rural policy approved in 2014.

The percentage of Maltese who think there has been no change to the landscape of rural areas in the past decade is the lowest in Europe.

Cyprus, followed by Latvia and Slovenia, emerges as the country where respondents have seen the greatest improvement (53%) in their landscape.

This emerges from a Eurobarometer survey on agriculture and the EU’s common agricultural policy.

The survey also shows that 62% of Maltese think the area covered by trees and forests in their country has decreased compared to 56% of respondents in all EU countries.

Malta is the sixth most likely member state in Europe to think that transport infrastructure in rural areas has improved. In fact, 52% of Maltese think that transport connections linking rural to urban areas have improved over the past decade.

89% of Maltese also consider the geographic area from where agricultural products are grown before buying; and 59% are willing to pay ten percent more for agricultural products produced in a way that limits their carbon footprint, when compared to 69% of all EU respondents.

But 54% of Maltese said they find it difficult to find organic agricultural products from supermarkets and shops.

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