The government and ruling Disy are trying hard to shield the Mediterranean island’s controversial citizenship by investment scheme which has contributed enormously towards the economy’s recovery but whose future now appears uncertain.
Because recent critical press reports both at home and abroad have surfaced a number of grey areas which could have dire consequences on the EU-member state’s economy, according to Phileleftheros.
An investigation by Reuters revealed that dictatorial Cambodia’s elite were granted Cypriot passports back in 2016. This sparked the furor of the opposition and not only, forcing the government and Disy to embark on a campaign to convince that the scheme’s criteria have changed becoming more stricter over the past couple of years.
The government has gone as far as to announce that investigations will take place and passports will be recalled in the eventuality that a benefactor is proved to be involved in any money laundering activity.
Disy leader Averof Neophytou told Phileleftheros that this is not just empty words, and that citizenships will be recalled if necessary. He also called on the island’s political leadership to join the government in a ‘civilized’ dialogue over this very crucial issue.
“If additional checks and balances need to be put in place then we should go ahead and do it. Let’s have a civilized dialogue on this before this political furor gets to damage our economy,” he said.
“Just like in 2011 and 2012, Cyprus seems to have come again under the radar of foreign agencies and foreign financial centers which had targeted our financial sector. And we all experienced the dire consequences,” he added.
Neophytou also expressed the belief that no political party is against any incentives given out for the economy to recover. And that no political party has come out and publicly say that such incentives should be withdrawn.