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Freedom of expression, free media in Malta rank lowest in 10 years

Ranking has been on a downward trend since 2014

Auberge de Castille... Control of corruption ranked the lowest in Malta according to indicators issued by the World Bank. Photo: Jonathan Borg

Auberge de Castille... Control of corruption ranked the lowest in Malta according to indicators issued by the World Bank. Photo: Jonathan Borg

Freedom of expression and accountability ranking in Malta has plummeted to the lowest figure in a decade, according to the latest Worldwide Governance Indicators issued by the World Bank.

Updated recently, the governance indicators include the ranking of more than 200 countries on the basis of six main categories that reflect the state of governance.

The figures gives Malta the lowest ranking since at least 2007 in terms of “voice and accountability”, which reflect perceptions of the extent to which citizens are able to participate in selecting their government, as well as freedom of expression, freedom of association and a free media.

This ranking has been on a downward trend since 2014, dropping to the lowest value in five years to 87.2 per cent in 2017, the latest year for which data is available. Zero is the lowest score, 100 being the highest mark.Slight improvements were noted in the case of five other indicators

Slight improvements were noted in ranking in the case of the five other indicators – control of corruption, government effectiveness, political stability and absence of violence, regulators’ quality and rule of law – when comparing 2017 with the previous year.

However, in all the rankings bar that for political stability, a drop was noted when last year was compared to 2013, when the Labour Party came to power. Prior to that, only the indicators on corruption and government effectiveness registered improvements.

Of all six indicators, the one on control of corruption, which captures perceptions of the extent to which public power is exercised for private gain, had the lowest rank (76.9 per cent) while that for political stability had the highest (93.8 per cent).

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