Ma­jor­ity want Kon­rad Mizzi and Keith Schem­bri sacked

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE - He­lena Grech

An ab­so­lute ma­jor­ity be­lieve that Min­is­ter with­out Porto­fo­lio Kon­rad Mizzi and the Prime Min­is­ter’s chief of staff Keith Schem­bri should have been sacked over the Panama Pa­pers rev­e­la­tions, the Novem­ber edi­tion of the iSur­vey com­mis­sioned by The Malta In­de­pen­dent on Sun­day shows.

The Panama Pa­pers scan­dal refers to the dis­cov­ery that Dr Mizzi and Mr Schem­bri owned com­pa­nies in the fi­nan­cially se­cre­tive ju­ris­dic­tion of Panama, shel­tered by trusts in New Zealand.

The scan­dal re­ceived in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion due to the trove of leaked doc­u­ments show­ing the deal­ings of Mos­sack Fon­seca, a Panama-based law firm, and its world elite clients who used com­pli­cated fi­nan­cial in­stru­ments to con­ceal their wealth. While this does not nec­es­sary per­tain to il­le­gal­i­ties, it sparked a heated global de­bate on the ethics of such deal­ings by the world’s rich and fa­mous.

Re­spon­dents were asked: Do you think the Prime Min­is­ter should have sacked Kon­rad Mizzi and Keith Schem­bri over the Panama Pa­pers rev­e­la­tions? Over­all, 56.6% of re­spon­dents be­lieve so, 21.6% dis­agree, 20.7% are still un­de­cided and 1.1% re­fused to an­swer the ques­tion.

In the April edi­tion of the iSur­vey, re­spon­dents were asked the above us­ing two sep­a­rate ques­tions: Do you think the Prime Min­is­ter should have sacked Kon­rad Mizzi over the Panama Pa­pers scan­dal, and another ques­tion with Keith Schem­bri’s name in place of Dr Mizzi’s.

Re­spon­dents were then marginally more le­nient to­wards Mr Schem­bri than with Dr Mizzi, agree­ing that they should be sacked – 54.2% and 49% re­spec­tively. With re­gard to Mr Schem­bri, 22.9% dis­agreed and 27%

said they were un­sure. With re­gard to Dr Mizzi, 26.2% be­lieved he should not have been sacked, and 18.7% could not de­cide ei­ther way.

Due to the ques­tion be­ing merged in this edi­tion of the iSur­vey, it is not pos­si­ble to com­pare like with like; how­ever one can de­duce that over­all pub­lic sen­ti­ment views the Prime Min­is­ter’s de­ci­sion to re­tain his two clos­est men un­favourably.

PL and PN voter split

Based on the way peo­ple voted in the 2013 gen­eral elec­tion, it was found that:

A pro­por­tion of 31.3% of PL vot­ers be­lieve that the pair should have been sacked, 43.3% dis­agree and 24.5% could not de­cide.

Of the PN vot­ers, 89.1% be­lieve they should have been sacked, 3.1% dis­agree, while 7.7% are un­sure.

Un­sur­pris­ingly, far more PL vot­ers than PN vot­ers are un­de­cided, with a dif­fer­ence of 16.8 per­cent­age points.

Of those who were not el­i­gi­ble to vote in the last gen­eral elec­tion, 68.2% be­lieve that the Prime Min­is­ter should have sacked his two clos­est aides, 9.1% dis­agree while 22.7% could not de­cide.

Over­all, out of those aged 18-24, 69.4% be­lieve they should have been fired, 16.7% dis­agree and 13.9% could not an­swer. The high pro­por­tion of those not el­i­gi­ble to vote in the last elec­tion and the 18-24 age co­hort who dis­agree with the Prime Min­is­ter’s de­ci­sion to keep Dr Mizzi and Mr Schem­bri are backed by the same cat­e­gory of re­spon­dents who strongly be­lieve there is govern­ment cor­rup­tion.

Out of those aged 25-34, 49.5% be­lieve that Dr Mizzi and Mr Schem­bri should have been sacked, 22.9% dis­agree and

26.7% don’t know. In the 35-44 age group, slightly less be­lieve that they should have been fired, at 47.9%, while 29.2% dis­agree and 18.8% are un­sure.

Of those aged 45-54 and 55-64, 49% and 52.8% re­spec­tively agree with the ques­tion, 28.4% and 22.6% dis­agree, while 22.5% and 23.6% could not give an an­swer.

A pro­por­tion of 43.7% of the old­est age group, rep­re­sent­ing those aged 65+, be­lieve the pair should have been fired, 30.3% dis­agree, with 25.2% be­ing un­sure. The old­est age group is the co­hort that most agrees with the Prime Min­is­ter’s de­ci­sion to re­tain the two.

When di­vid­ing the over­all re­sults by gen­der, it was found that more men be­lieve the pair

should have been sacked than their fe­male coun­ter­parts, at 59.2% and 54% re­spec­tively. They are rel­a­tively evenly split with the pro­por­tion who dis­agree, at 21.4% and 21.8% re­spec­tively, while more women than men re­main un­sure, at 22.6% and 18.9% re­spec­tively.

The Novem­ber 2016 iSur­vey – the sixth of its kind – was com­mis­sioned to Busi­ness Lead­ers Malta on be­half of The Malta In­de­pen­dent. A to­tal of 600 re­spon­dents were used, rep­re­sen­ta­tive of age, gen­der and spread of lo­cal­i­ties. With such a sam­ple size, the mar­gin of er­ror is +/- 4%. More in­for­ma­tion on the iSur­vey will be dis­closed through­out the week.

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