The government has called for the fast-track processing of citizenship by investment applications so as to give the Cyprus economy a boost, Phileleftheros reports.
Despite the government’s recent decision to revoke the Cypriot citizenship from 29 foreign investors and the legal restrictions that have arisen, this provision was among the 27 state emergency measures taken to counter coronavirus’ financial consequences.
Specifically, the government called for the examination process of applications for exceptional naturalization on the basis of the Cyprus Investment Program – in accordance with set provisions and criteria – to be speeded up.
Even though the government argues that the island’s economy does not depend much on the controversial naturalization scheme, this specific decision shows that the state invests in this sector which mainly contributes to that of development.
As a matter of fact, relevant data shows that only 1.2% of GDP is linked with the naturalization program. Since 2013, some €6.6 billion has been pumped into the economy through this scheme, subject to investment of up to €2.5 million.
New naturalisations in Cyprus should not exceed 700 annually. Prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, additional regulations on the scheme were pending before parliament.
At the same time, in addition to the government’s fiscal measures, the expected nine-month suspension of borrowers’ instalment payments to banks, state guarantees to low-interest loans to businesses and self-employed and the support measures towards employees, additional measures have been taken to facilitate legal and natural persons.
These include a package of measures facilitating businesses in regard to obligations towards the Registrar of Companies. Specifically, the process of publication in the Official Gazette of a three months’ notice prior to the delisting of a non-compliant company has now been suspended till January 2021.
And the payment of a fee of €350 was extended till the end of the year, along with the submission of the company’s annual report whose new date of submission is January 28, 2021. As for the charge for late submission of statutory forms to the department, this has been extended until the beginning of 2021.
Also among the measures taken is the suspension for two months of evictions for unpaid rent, and that for foreclosures for three months. An extension of three months was also granted for the submission of necessary supporting documents for those who have already applied for ‘Estia’ mortgage plan.
In addition, a ceiling was set on prices of personal hygiene products, along with a 10% reduction in electricity fees for all for two months.