News Local Al Jazeera 'golden passports' report raises political storm

Al Jazeera ‘golden passports’ report raises political storm

A report in Al Jazeera which published the first findings of its investigation into 1,400 leaked approved applications for a Cyprus ‘golden passport’ between 2017-2019 has raised a political storm, Philenews reports.

Sunday’s report had also noted that “serious questions are raised about the Cyprus Investment Programme,” and Opposition left-wing Akel promptly called on the government to respond and explain.

However, right-wing ruling Disy called on Akel not to be so fast in gloating over a report which is biased since it mentions nothing about the programme’s new strict regulations that have already been put in place.

“The report damages Cyprus, not the government, and  this is something Akel has to understand,” Disy said in a written statement.

In its first of a series of stories on ‘The Cyprus Papers’, the Al Jazeera Investigative Unit lists some of the names of individuals that appear to have been suspected or wanted for crimes at the time they received their Cyprus citizenship.

Reached for comment by Al Jazeera, Cyprus’ Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said that “No citizenship was granted in violation of the regulations in force at the given time”.

His full statement said: “Regarding today’s reports in international media which suggest that the Republic of Cyprus proceeded to the naturalization of persons who did not meet the criteria of the Cyprus Investment Program, we wish to clarify that all the individuals mentioned, especially in the Al Jazeera report, were evaluated according to the criteria that were in force at the given time and which they met.

“In addition, the consent of all relevant services both in Cyprus and internationally had been secured with regards to these individuals.

“It is well known that the Republic of Cyprus has made successive changes to improve the Cyprus Investment Program, following the recent vote, of Regulations by the House of Representatives.

“The most important change is that the regulations ensure transparency, credibility and continuous control, both before submitting an application and after obtaining a Cyprus passport.

“Within this framework and the additional possibilities provided by the Regulations, we are already checking and will continue to check all the information that has been made public.”




Top Stories

Yellow warning about thunderstorms as of tonight

The meteorological service issued yellow warning about isolated thunderstorms. The warning is valid as of 20:00 on Friday evening until 16:00 on Saturday. According to the...

EU needs to take decisions that will lead to real de-escalation by Turkey

The delayed moves which Turkey made some days ago to purportedly achieve de-escalation are not convincing, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said on Friday, noting...

Clarifications about COVID-19 cases in Central Prisons.

In reply to reports about confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the staff and the inmates of the Central Prisons, the Department of Prisons issued...

Expert concerned about percentage of positive COVID-19 cases

The percentage of positive Covid-19 cases out of thousands of tests carried out in Cyprus on a daily basis is a source of concern...

Cyprus Shipping Chamber joins forces with global business network MACN

The Cyprus Shipping Chamber and the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN), signed recently a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC),  with the aim to collaborate on the...


Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...


No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...