Suspension of the controversial Citizenship for Investment Program
After reports on abuse of the system Cyprus Government has decided to put the Citizenship for Investment Program to dormant as from November 1st.
The announcement was made by the representative of Cyprus Government Mr Kyriakos Koushios while speaking to journalists.
Al Jazeera has brought to light a scheme allowing individuals to obtain a European passport using the Cyprus Citizenship by investing in the Cyprus Investment Program. Politicians, lawyers and real estate developers were involved in the scheme.
Al Jazeera is accusing high-level politicians of assisting convicted criminals in obtaining Cypriot Citizenship granting them visa-free access to the European Union and its markets.
The president of the Cyprus Parliament Demetris Syllouris and one of the largest real estate developers in Cyprus are some of them involved.
Following Al Jazeera’s article, The Cyprus Papers, 1,400 documents are showing that Cyprus Authorities have allowed convicted criminals, against laws, to obtain the citizenship.
After the investigation, Cyprus Government admitted that mistakes were made but defended the program saying that laws and applicants’ checks were being made before granting a passport.
Cyprus’s Citizenship through Investment Program is giving a Cypriot passport to any individual who invests at least $2.5m on a property in the country.
This program started in 2013 and has brought more than seven billion euros in the country.
This amount was meant to keep the Cyprus economy healthy.