Left: Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, Right: Maltese journalists unite in a rare moment of solidarity following the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat will head into the new year safe in the knowledge that he leads the most trusted government in Europe, but the written press will have some soul-searching to do.
The latest Eurobarometer survey shows that a whopping 63% of Maltese people trust the government, the joint highest in Europe, along with the Netherlands. This is despite Muscat having spent the past 15 months battling for his reputation as international and national media outlets, organisations and politicians accused him of leading a corrupt government and of trying to cover up the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
“Rather than resting on our laurels, we can feel the pressure even more,” Muscat said this morning when questioned about the survey. “The more trust people show in us, the more our responsibility increases.”
Latest @EurobarometerEU shows amongst all EU citizens, the Maltese are the most convinced about direction of their country (68%) and have highest trust in Government (63%). #Malta families state they are doing well (92%), jobs (94%) and economy (95%) are also in good shape -JM
— Joseph Muscat (@JosephMuscat_JM) December 21, 2018
On the other end of the spectrum, only 32% of Maltese respondents said they trust the written press, the joint fourth worst in Europe – behind only the UK, Macedonia and Serbia.
The written press also fares badly when compared with other media institutions: 39% of Maltese said they trust ‘the Internet’, 47% said they trust what they hear on the radio and 53% said they trust what they watch on TV. However, only 24% said they trust what they read on social media.
Other Maltese authorities also fared quite well in this survey: 77% said they trust the army, 68% said they trust the police, 64% said they trust local councils and 59% said they trust Parliament. While only 49% said they trust the judiciary, this represents a significant nine-point spike since last spring.
Although only 36% of Maltese said they trust political parties, this was actually the third highest trust rating in Europe, behind only the Netherlands and Sweden.