In his speech, Cypriot MEP George Georgiou said that investment schemes that could have stimulated the development of society ended up turning into a “passport manufacturing and issuing factory”.
Unfortunately, he added, as a Cypriot he knows this very well. “My government may have stopped reviewing pending applications, but the damage done to Cyprus is enormous,” he said.
MEP Akela said they demand transparency and anti-corruption measures at all levels, as well as the closure of tax havens.
He added that Russians, Ukrainians and other oligarchs are present not only in Cyprus and Malta, but also scattered throughout Europe.
Gheorghiu said that the uncollected taxes from the issuance of “golden passports” belong to the society, and called for the collection of these funds in order to transfer them to states that need them.
The draft legislative initiative, which MEPs will vote on Tuesday and the results will be announced on Wednesday morning, says that “citizenship by investment” schemes, through which third-country nationals can obtain so-called “golden passports”, are undesirable from an ethical, legal and other points of view, as well as economically.
According to the draft text, third countries with visa-free access to the EU should also abandon their “golden passport” schemes.
He calls for proposals for strict EU regulation, including an investment levy (with contributions to the EU budget), strict background checks and physical presence requirements, and a comprehensive set of rules for intermediaries.