The deadline for the government to send to parliament regulations defining the new criteria behind the island’s popular investment for citizenship plan expires in about three months.
Yet, these regulations are still under draft at the Ministry of Interior which then has to send them to the Legal Services for a review before the legislative body gets to scrutinise them.
A spokesman for the Interior Ministry yesterday told House Interior Committee members that they are working on the regulations which are expected to be sent to the Legal Services soon.
Green party leader George Perdikis, who was behind the proposal on this issue, sent the message that without these regulations getting approved by parliament no new naturalisation would be possible as from February 1, 2020.
MPs also made clear that the Council of Ministers’ February decision will not be implemented until the executive body submits approved regulations. And that the interpretation of the law will be clarified on February 1, 2020.
The Greens’ proposal also provides for the publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of all names of foreigners getting Cypriot nationality, including those by investment.
However, Personal Data Protection Commissioner Irene Loizidou Nikolaidou argued that keeping a copy of the registry by different processors of data increases security risks. Because, she said, it would be very difficult to detect an unauthorised leak, for example.
She also argued that publishing the personal data of some foreigners might not be in the best interest of the public.
The aim of the approved changes by Cabinet points to enhancing trustworthiness and efficiency of the island’s investment programme. As well as widening the investment opportunities with an ultimate goal of benefitting the economy and wellbeing of Cyprus in general.