Satisfaction with Maltese democracy decreased by 20 points during political crisis

Percentage of those who judge Malta’s general situation positively drops by 29 points since 2018

The number of respondents who judge their country’s general situation positively dropped by 18 percentage points since September, and by 29 points when compared to 2018
The number of respondents who judge their country’s general situation positively dropped by 18 percentage points since September, and by 29 points when compared to 2018

The political crisis has taken its toll on the country’s positive outlook and people’s satisfaction with the way Maltese democracy works.

A Eurobarometer survey held right through the political crisis in November 2019 – when investigations in the Caruana Galizia assassination started with the arraignment of Tumas magnate Yorgen Fenech and forced the resignation of Joseph Muscat as prime minister – found that the number of respondents who judge their country’s general situation positively dropped by 18 percentage points since September, and by 29 points when compared to 2018.

But at 58%, the positive outlook of the Maltese remains higher than that in other EU member states. On average only 47% of EU citizens deem the situation in their country positively.

The survey also reports a deterioration in perceptions on the way democracy works in Malta, with the Maltese now evenly split between those who are satisfied (48%) and those who are unsatisfied (46%).

The percentage of those who are unsatisfied with Maltese democracy increased by 20 points compared to September.

Satisfaction with Maltese democracy is now lower than a European average of 54%. One would have expected that the tumultuous days in November which saw the Muscat government implode amidst high profile arrests related to the Caruana Galizua murder, would have made the Maltese talk more about politics.

But the EU-wide survey found that the percentage of respondents who never talk about politics when they get together with friends or relatives increased by 3 percentage points, when compared to September of the same year.

The survey found that 26% of Maltese never talk about Maltese politics with friends. Only 17% do so frequently up by 2 points from September while 56% do so occasionally.

In all 28 EU member states the percentage who talk about their country’s political situation frequently is 9 points higher than in Malta. The Swedes are the most politically engaged, to the extent that 40% talk frequently about this topic with friends.

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