Cyprus Property News magazine for overseas buyers & real estate investors

Friday 10th July 2020
Home Investor Centre Tougher checks on citizenship bids

Tougher checks on citizenship bids

Cyprus: Tougher checks on citizenship bidsTHE EUROPEAN Commission is calling on EU countries to be more cautious when granting citizenships, according to an interview with Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova published in the German daily Die Welt on Tuesday.

Jourova said an increasing number of EU member states had been issuing citizenship to third-country nationals if they had previously invested large sums of money in their respective countries.

The Commission was “extremely concerned” about the escalation of “golden passports,” being offered, the Czech politician said.

Serious security risk

“The granting of citizenship poses a serious security risk because it gives beneficiaries all the rights of EU citizens and allows them to move freely throughout the Union.” Jourova told Die Welt.

“The EU must not become a safe haven for criminals, corruption and dirty money,” she continued.

The newspaper singled out Cyprus, Malta, Greece, Bulgaria, Portugal, Lithuania, Latvia and Hungary as examples of EU states that had handed out a significant number of citizenships to wealthy Russians, Chinese, Africans and Turkish people in exchange for investment.

Jourova insisted member states needed to “quickly adopt” new EU laws on combating money laundering.

“We don’t want any Trojan horses in the EU,” she said. “Some member states must do more to ensure citizenship is not awarded to criminals.”

Possession of an EU passport infers rights such as free movement inside the 28-nation bloc.

Which EU states sell citizenship?

About 87 percent of people who acquired citizenship in an EU state in 2016 were previously citizens of a non-EU country, with a total of 863,300 citizenships granted – a 19 per cent increase compared to 2015.

EU countries offering Golden Visa programs include: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Between 2013 and 2017, Hungary also ran a Golden Visa program.

Earlier this year, Cyprus introduced plans to cap the number of Golden Visas it handed out to 700.

© 2018 Deutsche Welle

4 COMMENTS

  1. If Criminals wanted to travel freely I’m sure they can with or without EU passports, UK has been getting the bulk of the cash for passports, little Cyprus should reduce the €2 million threshold to €1 million for passport investment, as this would be a payback for the haircut imposed by the EU back in 2013.

  2. They only just realised this???

    Being an ‘EU’ citizen is now meaningless. I’m disgusted they’ve known this was going on and did nothing to stop the disgusting practice.

    Should be a treasonable offence.

  3. It’s a bit late for Ms Jourova to start worrying about this now.

    In any case it seems that criminals have been busy laundering money under her own nose in Czech republic for years.

    I wonder why she has not mentioned one of biggest vendors of citizenship, our own UK. Perhaps she thinks UK citizens will soon not be able to travel so feely in Europe anyway.

Comments are closed.

WEATHER FORECAST

EXCHANGE RATES

EUR - Euro Member Countries
GBP
1.1168
RUB
0.0125
CNY
0.1266
CHF
0.9422

TOP STORIES

Cyprus’ largest ever housing project will help low-income families

Limassol municipality and the Land Development Corporation (KOAG) reached an official agreement on Thursday regarding the establishment of the largest housing project ever undertaken in Cyprus, worth €100 million.

Corrupt lawyers continue to plunder estates

Corrupt lawyersin Cyprus continue to plunder the estates of their deceased clients by calculating their fees for administering estates on the Cyprus Bar Association's 'Minimum Fee Regulations', which were abolished in 2018

Cyprus house price index up 2.5 per cent

The Cyprus house price index rose by an average of 2.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the previous quarter according to official figures from the Cyprus Statistical Service (CYSTAT)

MPs commit to expedite citizenship bills

MPs have committed to expediting the bills and regulations aimed at improving the transparency of the citizenship-by-investment programme, so that the items can be voted on before the House breaks for the summer recess.