Malta. According to
Countryaah.com, Malta's National Assembly voted in March to lower
the voting age from 18 years to 16 years. The new age limit
would apply to all types of choices.
According to the organization Reporters Without Borders
(RUG) annual press freedom index, Malta fell from last
year's place 47 to place 65. According to RUG, freedom of
the press had deteriorated in several European countries in
the past year.
A conflict between Malta and Italy caught fire in June
after both countries refused to accept the rescue ship
Aquarius with 629 migrants. Italy claimed that the
responsibility lay on Malta, while Malta felt that it had no
obligation to receive the migrants when they were rescued in
Libyan territory and the operation was ruled out of Italy.
After Aquarius was wandering around for a week, the ship was
finally allowed to add to Spain.
The incident, which sparked a stir within the EU,
prompted Malta shortly after the rescue vessel Lifeline to
contact the port of Valletta on condition that the ship's
234 migrants were distributed among several countries.
Italy responded that it would receive some of the
migrants, after which French President Emmanuel Macron,
after a visit to the Pope in Rome, announced that France and
five other EU countries would also welcome migrants from the
ship. Subsequently, two more EU countries joined and Norway
also said that "for humanitarian reasons" 15 of the migrants
would be accepted. According to Malta's Prime Minister
Joseph Muscat, the incident was "unique" and not an example
of how similar situations are usually handled.
The decision to receive Lifeline, run by a
non-governmental organization, was, according to Malta, a
In July, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his wife
Michelle were freed from all suspicions of financial crime
in connection with the scandal surrounding the so-called
Panama Papers. An investigation was launched last year after
journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who made charges against
the couple Muscat, was murdered in a car bomb attack.