The report gives Maltese beaches a 99 per cent score and describes the quality of the island’s sea as ‘excellent’.
Apart from Cyprus, which was the only EU country to get full marks, landlocked Luxembourg also got a 100 per cent for the quality of its lake waters, putting Malta in third place for bathing waters. This is the exact same situation as last year.
Other member states which normally compete for the same segment of tourism as Malta, Croatia and Greece, also performed very well obtaining fourth and fifth place respectively.
At the other end of the scale, countries with the highest proportion of sites with a ‘poor’ status were Estonia (six per cent), the Netherlands (five per cent), Belgium (four per cent), France (three per cent) Spain (three per cent) and Ireland (three per cent).
Until a few years ago, Malta’s bathing water conditions were classified ‘poor’. However, through the investment of tens of millions of EU funds in modern waste water treatment facilities, treating sewage before it is dumped at sea pushed Malta to the top of Europe’s bathing water quality.