News World Bulgaria plans to end passport-for-sale scheme

Bulgaria plans to end passport-for-sale scheme

Bulgaria plans to stop allowing wealthy foreigners to buy citizenship against investment, the justice ministry said on Tuesday, saying the scheme had failed to bring any significant economic benefits for the European Union country.

The legal changes come a day after Reuters reported that the EU’s executive will warn that such schemes could help foreign organised crime groups infiltrate the 28-member bloc and increase the risk of money laundering, corruption and tax evasion.

Bulgaria is one of three EU countries, along with Cyprus and Malta, that currently grant citizenship against investment. Twenty member states, including these three, also sell resident permits.

In Bulgaria, foreigners can obtain a passport, which opens the door to most EU countries, for investments ranging from 1 million levs ($580,922) to 2 million levs. The investments can also be made into government bonds.

“The data shows that the aim to increase real foreign investment and economic development has not been achieved. As a result new jobs have not been created or economic growth been boosted,” the ministry said in a statement.

“In some cases it has been established that at a later stage the investment did not actually materialise due to the sale of the purchased treasury papers or other reasons,” it added.

The Justice Ministry said only 50 foreigners – from Russia, Egypt, Israel and Pakistan – had been sold a passport against investment since 2013.

The legal amendments will also strengthen controls and rules for granting citizenship to people of Bulgarian ethnic origin.

In October, Bulgarian prosecutors charged a senior state official as part of an investigation into a document scam that they say enabled foreigners to obtain Bulgarian passports and travel freely into the bloc.

(Reuters)

Read more

https://in-cyprus.com/commission-warns-cyprus-over-golden-passports/

Top Stories

France recalls ambassador to Ankara over Erdogan comments

  France condemned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s remarks questioning the mental health of President Macron and recalled its ambassador to Ankara for consultations. The French...

130 cases today, most from private initiative-28 patients in hospital

  One hundred and thirty new Covid-19 cases were announced today, out of 4 thousand 285 tests, taking the total number of confirmed patients to...

Greece approaches four-digit covid cases, 935 today

  The second coronavirus wave is climaxing in Greece as it recorded 935 cases today, the highest number since the second wave begun gathering pace...

Erdogan says Macron needs ‘mental treatment’ over attitude to Muslims

  Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan launched yet another scathing tirade of insults on his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, saying he needed mental treatment over his...

We are independent, Michaelides tells AG over golden passports

  We are not under anyone's custodianship, the Auditor General Odysseas Michaelides told Attorney General Yiorgos Savvides, who earlier called on his office to stay...

Taste

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...

Mezedes

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...