The Malta Independent 3 October 2022, Monday
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89% of Maltese believe that corruption is widespread – Eurobarometer survey

Albert Galea Wednesday, 10 June 2020, 17:09 Last update: about 3 years ago

A staggering 89% of Maltese believe that corruption in the country is widespread, a special Eurobarometer survey published on Wednesday shows.

The survey, which specifically focuses on corruption, spoke to 500 people in face-to-face interviews between 6 and 9 December last year - in the midst of the political crisis prompted by the arrest of Yorgen Fenech on suspicion of being the mastermind behind the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia which ultimately led to the resignation of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

The survey found that 89% of the Maltese respondents said that corruption was widespread, while only 5% said that corruption was rare. The remaining 6% said they did not know.

It is a 10% on the percentage of respondents who said that corruption was widespread when the survey was last taken in October 2017 - soon after the Labour Party was re-elected - and it is 18% more than the EU average of 71%.

It is not the highest percentage in this category: 97% of Croatians think corruption is widespread in their country, while there were percentages over 90% in Cyprus, Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Lithuania as well.

At the other end of the spectrum, only 22% of Finns believed that corruption is widespread in Finland - by far the lowest percentage in the EU.

Maltese respondents were asked whether they thought that the giving of bribes and the abuse of power for personal gain are widespread amongst a number of different entities, to which 60% responded that they felt that this was the case in political parties, up by 3% since the last survey in 2017.

49% responded that they think it is widespread in officials issuing building permits and 48% said that it is widespread in politicians at national, regional or local level.

Among other entities, 34% said that they believed it was widespread in the police and customs systems - although this has decreased by 10% since the last survey in 2017, and another 31% also responded in this regard when asked about the courts - also down by 9% since last surveyed.

54% of the respondents said that they are personally affected by corruption in their daily lives - a percentage which is over double the EU average of 26%.  Indeed, this percentage increased by an astonishing 22% between this survey and the one before it - the highest increase across the European Union.

Meanwhile, 74% - the highest percentage across the EU - said that corruption in the three years prior to the interviews has increased. 14% said that it had stayed the same, 10% said they didn't know, a paltry 1% said that it had decreased, and a further 1% actually replied that there is no corruption in the country.

82% said that corruption was mainly caused by the close links between politics and business, with 71% believing that corruption is part of business culture and 70% believing that succeeding in business requires political connections.

In spite of this however, only 7% claimed to have witnessed an instance of corruption in the last 12 months; but 35% said that there is no protection for those who report corruption, and 33% believed that those who are corrupt go unpunished.





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