The Maltese show the highest support for the EU across the 27-nation bloc, according to the latest Eurobarometer survey.
A whopping 50 per cent of Maltese respondents said they have a “totally positive” image of the EU, an increase of 25 per cent since the last survey conducted last summer. Just six per cent said they have a “totally negative” image of the EU.
Just over 500 respondents in Malta were interviewed for the survey between February 12 and March 11, a period during where the island experienced record numbers of COVID-19 cases.
In fact, the survey found a 39 percentage point drop in the number of Maltese saying they were “satisfied” with the government’s pandemic measures, compared to the last survey in summer.
The survey also showed 59% of Maltese think the current economic situation is good, while EU average is just 29%
Fifty-three per cent said they were “satisfied” but 44 per cent were not.
This level of satisfaction was still higher than Europe as a whole, where only 43 per cent said they were satisfied with the measures taken by their national governments.
This is a 19 percentage point drop since last summer. Fifty-six per cent said they were dissatisfied.
When it comes to the preventive measures taken by the EU itself, 43 per cent of the Europeans said were satisfied. But in Malta that figure was 55 per cent, a nine percentage point rise from the last survey.
Sixty-one per cent of Europeans think their country’s economy will recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in ‘2023 or later’. By contrast, in Malta only 54 per cent believe this to be the case, while 32 per cent were more optimistic, anticipating 2022 to be the year of recovery.
The survey also showed that 59 per cent of the Maltese think the current economic situation is “good”, while 35 per cent think it is “bad”.
This portrays a brighter picture than the EU, where 69 per cent of respondents say their country’s economic situation is bad and only 29 per cent think it is good.