The Government of Cyprus has completed the consideration of applications under the citizenship by investment program. Interior Minister Nikos Nouris announced this on Tuesday. All pending applications have been adjudicated and the European Union has been duly informed by the government.
In November 2020, following the exposure of the golden passport scheme, the program was terminated and applications suspended. This comes after an Al Jazeera covert video showing former House President Demetris Syllouris and former Akel MP Christakis Jovanis offering citizenship assistance to a fictitious businessman with a criminal record.
The scheme was officially completed on November 1, 2020. As of this date, according to the Ministry of the Interior, 1,417 applications were pending. About half of which came from investors and their associates.
Nuris at the congress on land management in Nicosia said that all applications that were waiting for consideration were processed. On August 5, the government informed the European Union about this. The applicants themselves do not yet know the final results, as the files are being studied by the Attorney General’s office.
“Now we are waiting for the reaction of the EU,” Nuris said.
Brussels has expressed strong disapproval of continuing to process applications for citizenship by investment after the scheme is terminated. For this reason, the Cypriot government was forced to act cautiously.
The European Commission said in a June statement that it would step up infringement procedures against Cyprus and Malta.These steps will be implemented in relation to their respective citizenship by investment schemes.
The Commission also added that in the event of an unsatisfactory response from Cyprus, the case could be referred to the European Court of Justice.
“Although Cyprus canceled its scheme and stopped accepting new applications on November 1, 2020, it continues to process pending applications,” the commission said in a statement.
“Consequently, today the commission decided to take the next step in the procedure against Cyprus by issuing a reasoned opinion. The Commission considers that the concerns expressed in the letter of legal notice have not been addressed by Cyprus,” it added.
The Commission has given Cyprus two months to take the necessary steps to resolve its problems – mainly to ensure that investors not connected with the country, in addition to their investments, are issued passports.
Other statements made by Nouris on Tuesday said that Cyprus has learned from the mistakes of the past. The government is working on a new scheme that will be aimed at attracting foreign investors. Unlike the previously known scheme, guarantees will now be required that businessmen have real ties with Cyprus.
The Ministries of Interior, Finance and Trade are discussing ways to improve the regime of the headquarters in Cyprus aimed at attracting certain businesses.
Source and photo: news.cyprus-property-buyers.com Editor Estateofcyprus.com