The Maltese are the most optimistic people in Europe about the future of the national economy, but they are less confident that their own standard of living is set to improve, a survey has found.
The Eurobarometer survey published by the European Parliament gauged citizens' beliefs about the European Union and its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It found that the Maltese ranked highest in post-COVID-19 optimism, with 42 per cent of Maltese people believing that the country’s economic prospects will have improved in a year’s time.
Around 21 per cent of Maltese people believe the situation will get worse, while 25 per cent believe it will remain the same.
The Maltese bucked the trend, with the majority of EU citizens (53 per cent) believing the situation will not improve in a year’s time. Czech and French citizens are the least optimistic (67 per cent) about their country’s future economic prospects.
In contrast, the Maltese are not as optimistic that their living conditions will improve, with only 26 per cent saying their situation will improve and 56 per cent believing it will remain the same.
At 26 per cent, this was still the third most optimistic outlook in Europe, with 30 per cent of Estonians, Irish and Swedes being the most confident that their living conditions would improve.
In January, a Eurobarometer survey had found that the Maltese were the most optimistic to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, with only four per cent of respondents saying they would outright refuse a jab.
This correlated with a high number of Maltese (83 per cent) saying they were afraid of getting infected with the virus in the future, far above the EU average at 54 per cent.
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