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Cyprus developers defend citizenship scheme

The Cyprus Land and Building Developers Association defended the citizenship scheme saying that it had contributed to the creation of tens of thousands of jobs across many sectors of the economy.

Cyprus developers defend citizenship scheme THE ISLAND’S Land and Building Developers Association (LBDA) on Friday defended the government’s investment for citizenship programme in the wake of revelations that family members or allies of Cambodia’s leader, including the police chief who has been instrumental in clamping down on dissent, and its finance minister, had received Cypriot citizenship in 2016 and 2017.

In a statement, LBDA sought to emphasise the programme’s decisive contribution to the growth of the economy and the creation of long-term conditions of prosperity.

It said criticising the scheme hurt the country’s credibility and endangered everything that had been achieved in the past few years.

According to the association, the programme contributed to the creation of “tens of thousands of jobs across many sectors of the economy” virtually affecting every household.

It also contributed to the effort of attracting foreign investment, completing development projects, increasing state revenues, and stabilising the finance system by reducing non-performing loans.

“If mistakes and omissions were made during the implementation of the programme, these neither negated not diminished its importance for the present and the future of the Cypriot economy,” the association said.

It warned that the island’s economy remained vulnerable, and responsible approaches were a basic condition for the continuation of the upward course.

“Targeting the programme hurts our country’s credibility and jeopardises everything we have achieved with persistence and collective effort in recent years,” it said.

Apart from accusations that everyone involved in the scheme failed to carry out proper due diligence in certain cases, detractors have also accused President Nicos Anastasiades over the fact that the law firm bearings his name is also involved in securing citizenships, 41 out of 4,000, according to the government spokesman. His son-in-law, Yiannis Misirlis, is also a developer and deputy chairman of LBDA.

Following the report by Reuters concerning the Cambodian elite, the government announced it was going to investigate all citizenships granted before 2018.

The law firm involved in the Cambodian case belongs to the father former transport minister Marios Demetriades.

Interior ministry data showed that the firm was involved in 137 applications between 2014 and 2018, a period during which Marios Demetriades was a member of the cabinet that approved them.

Readers' comments

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  • Martyn Laycock says:

    For a very small country the size and scale of recent, seemingly ‘Easy In’ Cyprus Citizenship applications is, at least worrying – and potentially dangerous – even more so concerning, we are told, the involvement of the Cyprus President’s company have had, are still having ? considerable and close? involvement; the current increase in development of multi-storey and typically front-line building is already indicating dangerous proportions. Most of these for very H.N.W individuals unlikely to spend very much on the Likely many voids – and far too expensive for most less-well-off people to buy, let alone cope with High service charges. And WHO is going to fill all the voids, cover likely sky-High(pardon the pun!) voids, service charges?

    Some of us can see potentially Major problems regarding this high (sky-High!), risky development a few years ‘down the road’.

    Are there Plans, Models, Finances! to cope with all this Sky-High development? Many of us doubt it. Meantime it seems ‘usual’ Cyprus visitor, ’holiday’ traffic is again waning.

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