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Montevideo, July 7th 2022 - 17:33 UTC

 

 

Malta ordered to end “golden passport” scheme granting EU citizenship to rich individuals

Thursday, April 7th 2022 - 07:47 UTC
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Malta is believed to have raised €1.1 billion ($1.2 billion) since 2013 by offering “golden passports.” Malta is believed to have raised €1.1 billion ($1.2 billion) since 2013 by offering “golden passports.”

Malta has been officially warned by the European Commission to end the so-called “golden passport” scheme, the lucrative practice of selling EU citizenship to rich individuals. Other culprits include Bulgaria and Cyprus but according to the EC are moving to end the practice.

“The Commission considers that the granting of EU citizenship in return for pre-determined payments or investments, without any genuine link to the Member State concerned, is in breach of EU law,” the bloc's executive said in a statement on Wednesday.

Malta is believed to have raised €1.1 billion ($1.2 billion) since 2013 by offering “golden passports.”

Malta has two months to reply to the official notice sent from Brussels. “If the reply is not satisfactory, the Commission may bring this matter before the Court of Justice of the European Union,” the statement added.

Malta nevertheless is among several European countries which have suspended the investor residence scheme for Russian and Belarusian nationals. 

“While this was a positive step, Malta continues to operate the scheme for all other nationals and did not express any intention to stop it,” the Commission added.

However the EU admits that the scheme has “inherent risks”. since some Russian and Belarusian nationals who were targeted by EU sanctions were holders of such passports. 

“Every person that holds the nationality of an EU Member State is at the same time an EU citizen. EU citizenship automatically gives the right to free movement, access to the EU internal market, and the right to vote and be elected in European and local elections,” the Commission said. 

Categories: Politics, International.

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