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Cyprus is suspending a scheme of citizenship

19.10.2020

 

Cyprus is suspending a scheme that grants citizenship and guarantees visa-free travel throughout the EU for those who invest a minimum of €2m. The move comes into force next month (first of November 2020).

The decision is taken after the political scandal, in which Al Jazeera reporters filmed Cypriot officials using the scheme to assist a fictional Chinese businessman with a criminal record.

In the video footage released on Monday, Cyprus's parliamentary speaker appears to offer his influence to assist in obtaining citizenship for the fictitious businessman.

13.10.2020 second-highest ranking state official released a statement apologizing for "this unpleasant image conveyed to the Cypriot public... and any upset it may have caused". His announcement came shortly after the government said it had approved a proposal to suspend the scheme - the citizenship for investment program.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the office of Cypriot President Nicos  Anastasiades said the proposal was put forward in response to "weaknesses" in the scheme that could be "exploited".

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