The Malta Independent 17 June 2024, Monday
View E-Paper

Only 36% of Maltese feel like country is moving in the right direction, as satisfaction plummets

Albert Galea Tuesday, 6 June 2023, 13:19 Last update: about 2 years ago

Only 36% of the Maltese people feel like the country is moving in the right direction, as satisfaction with how the country is progressing plummeted when compared to six months ago, according to the latest Eurobarometer survey published on Tuesday.

People were asked whether they feel like things in the country are going into the right direction or wrong direction in the latest survey, which was run last March, and the previous survey, which was run between October and November last year.

36% of Maltese replied that they feel that things are going in the right direction – a mammoth 29 percentage points less than when compared to the responses of the previous survey.  42% believe that the country is going in the wrong direction.

15% couldn’t pick between either one or the other, while the remaining 7% said that they didn’t know.

This is still higher than EU averages: across the bloc, an average of only 26% feel like their country is going in the right direction, although this has increased by 2% when compared with the last Eurobarometer.

Negative swings are clear elsewhere: the survey showed that just under half of Malta is not happy with the way in which democracy is working in Malta as well.

The results show that there is an even split (49% and 49%) between those who are satisfied with how the country’s democracy is working, and those who are not satisfied with how the country’s democracy is working.

What is significant however is the level of change when compared to the previous Eurobarometer.

In the previous survey, a total of 70% of Maltese said that they were satisfied with how democracy was working in Malta, while only 27% were not satisfied.

The change has been significant: in the six months between surveys, 21% of Maltese respondents changed their opinion to say that they weren’t satisfied with how the country’s democracy was working.

The latest Eurobarometer started to be polled a week or so after the courts annulled the highly controversial hospitals deal with Steward, and while more and more revelations concerning the deal began to emerge.

The satisfaction levels are also below the EU average: across the bloc, 56% said that they are satisfied with the way in which their country’s democracy works.

When asked about their satisfaction with the way democracy works in the EU, 61% of Maltese said that they were satisfied: down by 11 points when compared to the last Eurobarometer survey, but still 7 points higher than the EU average.

However, despite all of this the vast majority of Maltese believe that their own personal lives are going in the right direction.

Indeed, the survey shows that 75% of Maltese respondents harbour this belief, compared to just 5% who think that their life is going in the wrong direction.  A further 17% could not pick between the two options and the remaining 3% said that they didn’t know.

This is practically unchanged when compared to the last survey, which found that 76% of Maltese were happy with the direction of their personal lives.

The latest Eurobarometer was published almost a year to the day of when the next European Parliament elections will take place in 2024, and therefore also looked at aspects concerning voter interest and the Parliament’s values.

Asked which values the European Parliament should prioritise defending, the top priority was deemed to be the protection of human rights in the EU and worldwide (34%) while the protection of democracy (33%) was a close second, and the protection of the rule of law (27%) came in third.

On the elections themselves, 81% of respondents said that it was either of medium importance (33%) or high importance (48%) to vote in the European elections, while 19% - an increase of 8 percentage points when compared to the last survey – said that it was of low importance.

The survey showed that those who believe that things in the EU are going in the wrong direction are more likely to consider it less important to vote in the European elections than those who feel like the EU is going in the right direction.

A total of 64% of people registered some degree of interest in the upcoming elections, with 36% saying they were either not very interested or not interested at all.

Similarly 66% said that they were very likely to vote in the upcoming elections, while 21% - up by five percentage points – said that they were not likely to vote.  The remaining 12% were neutral about whether they would vote or not.

  • don't miss