Corruption, Iip And Murder – Why Malta's Freedom Ranking Has Fallen

 Malta fell from 17th to 33rd place in the latest ranking by Freedom House, a Washington-based organisation measuring democracy and liberty in 195 countries and 14 territories around the world.

According to the latest report, Malta scored 92 points in the aggregate ranking out of 100, down four points (-4) from 96 in the previous study carried out the year before.

A spokeswoman for Freedom House described the drop as an accumulation of problems that emerged in recent years.

“The murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia made a big impact on Malta’s ranking, as this was of big concern to us,” she said. “However, there are many other factors accumulating over the past years which are having a negative impact on Malta’s reputation.”

These factors include the Individual Investment Programme (IIP), which facilitates the sale of Maltese passports, a lack of transparency in the application and implementation of the law on financing political parties, the influence of economic interest groups and individuals in national politics, corruption and the lack of transparency in public contracts.

The spokeswoman noted that in a small country like Malta, such issues could have a big impact on overall freedom.

The countries faring worse than Malta were Gabon (-9), Tunisia (-8), Congo (-6), Tanzania (-6), Turkey (-6) and the Maldives (-5).

Finland, Norway and Sweden topped the league of the freest countries in the world, followed by Canada and Denmark. North Korea, Eritrea and South Sudan are considered to be the least free countries in the world.

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