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EU Commission takes Malta to court over ‘golden passport’ scheme

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 The European Commission says it is set to take Malta to court over contested golden passports or citizen investment scheme the EU executive arm announced on Thursday Giving citizenship pre determined payments or investments without any genuine link to an EU member state runs counter to the union s principles the commission said in a statement The commission said that it had been putting pressure on Malta Bulgaria and Cyprus to halt the practice of issuing golden passports These have become popular as they allow holders the full rights of EU citizenship including free movements within the 27 country bloc Brussels says the practice has allowed criminal groups to gain access to the EU who have in turn been engaged in money laundering corruption and tax evasion the statement said It added that in March Bulgaria bowed to pressure to end the scheme Cyprus did so the previous year Malta is the only country still offering golden passports according to the commission it said The statement also added that the Mediterranean island country ended the citizen investment scheme for Russian and Belarusian nationals in the aftermath of the Ukraine war a positive step according to the commission Malta however had continued to operate the scheme for other nationalities and had not expressed any intention to end it the EU executive arm said The statement added that the case had now gone to the European Court of Justice the latest step in a so called infringement procedure that could potentially result in a fine against Malta NewsSourceCredit NAN
EU Commission takes Malta to court over ‘golden passport’ scheme

European Commission

The European Commission says it is set to take Malta to court over  contested “golden passports’’ or citizen investment scheme, the EU executive arm announced on Thursday.
 

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Giving citizenship pre-determined payments or investments without any genuine link to an EU member state runs counter to the union’s principles, the commission said in a statement.
 

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The commission said that it had been putting pressure on Malta, Bulgaria and Cyprus to halt the practice of issuing golden passports.
 

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“These have become popular as they allow holders the full rights of EU citizenship, including free movements within the 27-country bloc.
 

“Brussels says the practice has allowed criminal groups to gain access to the EU, who have in turn been engaged in money-laundering, corruption and tax evasion,’’ the statement said.
 

It added that in March, Bulgaria bowed to pressure to end the scheme.
 

Cyprus did so the previous year.

Malta is the only country still offering golden passports according to the commission, it said.
 

The statement also added that the Mediterranean island country ended the citizen investment scheme for Russian and Belarusian nationals in the aftermath of the Ukraine war, a positive step according to the commission.
 

Malta, however, had continued to operate the scheme for other nationalities and had not expressed any intention to end it, the EU executive arm said.
 

European Court of Justice

The statement added that the case had now gone to the European Court of Justice, the latest step in a so-called infringement procedure that could potentially result in a fine against Malta.
 

NewsSourceCredit: NAN

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