With the contribution of an international law firm Nicosia has reasoned before the European Commission its decision to continue processing pending applications even after Cyprus’ controversial cash-for-passports scheme was scrapped in October.
This is what Attorney General George Savvides told Philenews on Friday, adding that the government’s detailed response covers all questions raised by Brussels.
And that the main reason behind the continuation was the fact Nicosia would have been confronted with huge legal obstacles if it had stopped the process.
The Commission is now expected to accept Nicosia’s justifications and end the legal process against it, Savvides also said.
The Commission stepped up legal action against Cyprus in June in a move that may eventually see the member state end up in court and face fines.
It had sent a reasoned opinion to Cyprus for failing to address its concerns and gave the country two months to inform the Commission of measures taken to comply with EU laws or faced being taken to court.
“While Cyprus has repealed its scheme and stopped receiving new applications on 1 November 2020, it continues processing pending applications,” it had said in a statement.
The move came two days after an official inquiry found that the Cypriot government broke its own law countless times in granting citizenship to almost 7,000 people from 2007 to 2020.