Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on Thursday stressed the need to scrap so-called golden passports after a scandal led to a political crisis in Cyprus
BRUSSELS (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 22nd October, 2020) Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on Thursday stressed the need to scrap so-called golden passports after a scandal led to a political crisis in Cyprus.
Cypriot parliament speaker, Demetris Syllouris, was forced to resign last week after an Al-Jazeera report implicated him and dozens of other high-ranking officials in a scheme to assist a fictional Chinese executive with a criminal record to get a Cypriot passport through the golden passport scheme.
"MEPs underlined that granting EU citizenship to third-country nationals without proper checks and transparency has negative consequences in other member states, eroding mutual trust and undermining common values," the parliament's press office said in a statement.
In a plenary session with Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders, a majority of lawmakers stressed that EU citizenship should not be traded as a commodity, insisting that the citizenship-by-investment program increases the risk of money laundering, tax evasion and corruption, the statement read
Some lawmakers defended the program, saying they brought significant revenue for the countries that maintained the practice.
The Cypriot citizenship by investment scheme is believed to have raised up to 9.7 billion Euros for the country's economy since its introduction in 2013 as part of efforts to combat a severe financial crisis.