An ever-increasing property market and rapid population growth appear to be weighing upon the Maltese public, after a Eurobarometer survey found that these two issues top the list for the public’s biggest concerns.
Just under half (49%) of all respondents said that immigration was the most significant problem facing Malta. The country has seen a rapid growth spurred on by booming economy, so much so that the population is nearing ever closer to the 500,000 mark.
Irregular migration has also played an effect. Arrivals have increased substantially over the past year with the Mediterranean becoming a hotbed for diplomatic tensions after Italy continued to close its ports to NGO vessels.
Immigration also tops the list when it comes to the EU as a whole, with 63% expressing the issue as their main concern.
When it comes to housing, an influx of EU nationals has skyrocketed the property market and the rental sector in particular. While 28% said housing was their top concern last November, this figure has jumped up to 43% in the latest survey.
The construction industry has been firmly under the microscope for the first six months of the year following the collapse of three buildings in under two months.
While the government has introduced a reform in both the rental and construction sectors, it seems like they have also heightened concerns over the industry in general.
The environment follows next, standing at 33%, five percentage points higher than the previous survey. Issues surrounding the uprooting of trees along with ever-growing issues with Malta’s air quality and over-development appear to be having an affect on the public.