The government of Malta issued 10,974 first-time residence permits in 2017, with more than 2,000 of them to Serbian nationals, the Malta Today newspaper has reported citing figures from the Eurostat agency.
“The figures show that Serbs topped the list with 2,033 people from the Balkan country being granted a first-time residence permit,” the daily said on its web site, adding that this was 18.5 percent of the total number of that type of permit issued by Malta in 2017.
Malta Today said that construction workers were being brought in from Serbia by contractors to meet the demand in the construction boom in the Mediterranean island European Union member state.
The Eurostat report said that the government in Valletta had issued 23.4 first-time residence permits per 1,000 people, making Malta the leader in terms of issued residence permits. More than half of the total number of permits were issued for employment purposes.