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Results of Passports Scheme Extension Consultation Unpublished, 18 Months on

Times Malta 7/8/2019

Results of a public consultation process about extending the government’s controversial cash-for-passports scheme have still not been published, 18 months after the process ended.
The scheme, which allows wealthy foreigners to buy a Maltese passport granting them unfettered access to the European Union, was originally meant to be limited to 1,800 applicants.
During the run-up to the 2017 general election, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced that the government would be looking into extending the scheme, which rakes in millions in revenues A public consultation process about this extension was launched in January 2018 and closed a month later. 

Last September, a spokeswoman for the Office of the Prime Minister told Times of Malta that they were in the “final stages” of evaluating the public consultation.
Since then, there has been no news about the public’s views on this extension.
Contacted about the delay in publishing the results, a spokeswoman for Dr Muscat’s office said the consultation process outcome would be published “in the coming weeks”.

This followed an “ongoing final analysis, also within the context of consultations with a number of international entities, including European ones,” the spokeswoman added.
A 2019 report by the European Commission found that citizenship schemes like the one operated by the government pose security, money-laundering, tax evasion and corruption risks to the EU.


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