Eurobarometer: Migration concern grows by seven points, trust in government at 51%

Migration, crime and environmental destruction were the three most pressing concerns cited by Maltese respondents in a Eurobarometer survey

Migration was the most frequently cited concern in a Eurobarometer survey held between November and March 2018
Migration was the most frequently cited concern in a Eurobarometer survey held between November and March 2018

An EU wide survey has shown that concern on immigration increased by seven points between November 2017 and March 2018. On the other hand trust in the national government has remained stable at 51%.

The survey shows that the vast majority of people (82%) judge the state of the Maltese economy positively, down from 89% in November.  Moreover, the Maltese are nearly twice as likely as other Europeans to deem the state of the economy positively.

Immigration remains the most pressing concern for the Maltese population however, with 39% pointing to it when asked to mention the two most important issues facing Malta. 

The second most pressing concern was crime, which was cited by 30% of respondents, down from 45% in November - the month following the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.  Concern on the environment, climate and issues related to energy remained the third most pressing concern for the Maltese with 21% of respondents saying they were concerned.

The only bread and butter issue which was found to be having an impact on the Maltese was inflation, which was mentioned by 17% of respondents, up 10% since November.

The different categorization probably explains the discrepancy with other surveys like that published by MaltaToday, in which traffic,  corruption and construction are categorized separately.

Immigration is in third place in concerns at EU level, mentioned by 21% of Europeans, and stands in first place in Malta (39%), Germany (38%), Austria (29%) and Belgium (26%). It was already in first place in the three latter countries in autumn 2017.

The environment, climate change and energy issues, which is the second most mentioned item in the Netherlands (36%) and Denmark (29%), and the third in Malta (21%).

Since autumn 2017, the proportion of respondents with a positive image of the EU has increased in 15 Member States, in particular in Ireland (64%, +5 percentage points), Malta (50%, +5) and Latvia (38%, +5).

The majority of respondents say that the national economic situation is good in 14 EU Member States, led by the Netherlands (93%), Luxembourg (93%) and Germany (90%). More than eight in ten respondents also hold this view in Denmark (89%), Sweden (86%), Malta (82%) and Austria (81%). But Malta registered the sharpest dip in the number of respondents judging the economy positively from 89% in November to 82% now.