Vast majority of Maltese expect standard of living to worsen: Eurobarometer

Eurobarometer survey shows 85% of Maltese citizens believe their standard of living will take a turn to the worse in the 2024

People walking in Valletta (Photo: James Bianchi/MaltaToday)
People walking in Valletta (Photo: James Bianchi/MaltaToday)

The vast majority of Maltese people expect their standard of living to decrease next year, a Eurobarometer survey shows.

The survey showed 85% of respondents believed things will take a turn to the worse in the 2024, while 50% believe that at present, things are going in the wrong direction.

The data, covering citizens from all member states, was published six months before next year’s European Parliament elections, which will be held between 6 and 9 June.

The survey looked at life in the EU from the citizen’s perspective, their perceptions of the EU, the European Parliament, as well as EU membership. The survey also looked at citizen’s awareness of the elections, as well as their participation in it.

The Parlemeter covered 27 EU Member States and was conducted through face-to-face interviews, including computer-assisted video interviews in Malta, between 28 September and 15 October 2023. The total number of interviews completed in the EU were 26,523, and 510 in Malta.

73% of European citizens said that they expect their standard of living to decrease.

85% of Maltese think that their standard of living will decrease, while only 1% of Maltese say that their standard of living has in fact increased, a two-percentage point drop from the figure recorded in the Eurobarometer held in March of this year.

The Parlemeter showed that 48% of EU member states believe that things are going in the wrong direction with regards to the European Union, and 33% believe that things are going in the right direction in general.

In Malta, 20% believe that things in the EU are going in the wrong direction, while 41% say that things are going in the right direction. In Malta, 50% believe that things are going in the wrong direction, while 28% said that things are going in the right direction in the country.

There is also a downturn in optimism over Malta’s economy, with 53% saying that the country’s economy will be in a worse state in a year’s time, up six percentage points since March. 29% think that it will stay the same, while 11% believe it will be better, a drop of seven percentage points compared to March.

On their optimism about the EU’s future, 65% of Maltese said that they were optimistic, which however experienced a 10-percentage point drop from the study in March. 27% of Maltese respondents said that they were pessimistic about the future of the EU.

Data also showed that 53% of Maltese say that they have a ‘positive’ image of the EU, while 45% of Europeans believe so. On the other hand, 10% of Maltese have a negative view of the EU, up by 3 percentage points since March.

92% of respondents highlighted Malta's substantial gains from EU membership, a notably higher percentage than the 72% reported in other member states.

Likewise, Maltese citizens demonstrate a greater optimism regarding the EU's future compared to their European counterparts. However, this optimism has notably declined in recent months. While three-quarters expressing optimism in March, and now just under two-thirds share this sentiment.

Nearly 90% of Maltese believe the EU affects their daily lives, marking a significant 20-percentage-point difference from the rest of Europe.

Furthermore, almost half believe the EU positively influences Malta's economic growth, and slightly over a third see it as a source of new job opportunities—both rates significantly surpassing those reported by other Europeans.

Conversely, Maltese citizens exhibit more concern than other Europeans about the EU's potential role in compromising Malta's borders (40% versus 24%), threatening job security (33% versus 18%), and endangering Malta's peace and security (32% compared to just 12% elsewhere in Europe).

Ewropej Funded by the European Union

This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The action was co-financed by the European Union in the frame of the European Parliament's grant programme in the field of communication. The European Parliament was not involved in its preparation and is, in no case, responsible for or bound by the information or opinions expressed in the context of this action. In accordance with applicable law, the authors, interviewed people, publishers or programme broadcasters are solely responsible. The European Parliament can also not be held liable for direct or indirect damage that may result from the implementation of the action.

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