Cyprus scraps ‘golden passport’ scheme in a blow to rich Chinese nationals
Wealthy Chinese people have long sought EU citizenship by investing in countries that have a ‘golden passport’ schemeAl Jazeera undercover report uses hidden cameras to show official and lawmaker pledging ‘full support’ to granting a passport to a fictitious Chinese investorChina-EU relationsAssociated PressandStuart LauPublished: 2:27am, 14 Oct, 2020Why you can trust SCMP
Cyprus on Tuesday scrapped a lucrative programme granting citizenship to wealthy investors, in a blow to rich Chinese nationals in search of European Union passports.
The Cypriot decision comes amid new allegations that a top state official and a veteran lawmaker were implicated in attempts to bypass strict vetting rules and issue a passport to a fictitious investor with a supposed criminal record.
Cyprus government spokesman Kyriakos Koushos said the Cabinet accepted a recommendation by the minsters of the interior and finance to cancel altogether the “golden passport” programme that has netted billions of euros over several years.
Koushos said the decision, which goes into effect on November 1, was based on the Cyprus Investment Programme’s “long-standing weaknesses, but also the abuse” of its provisions.
He said the government would in due course look at different ways of attracting foreign investment.