Golden passports: Cyprus ignoring EU complaints

Cyprus apparently continues to process naturalisation applications from rich foreigners in exchange for money - although Nicosia officially suspended the programme in November after massive criticism from Brussels. The EU Commission has now issued another warning to Nicosia and is threatening legal action before the European Court of Justice. The Cypriot press is dismayed by the government's behaviour in the scandal.

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Cyprus Mail (CY) /

Cyprus taking the accountant's approach

Nicosia thinks it's being smart but it's just making another mistake, the Cyprus Mail criticises:

“The government appears determined to continue processing pending applications. Its response to the Commission's threat of further steps in the infringement procedure was that the matter was being handled by the state Legal Service ... and it would respond within the two-month time frame. In other words, the processing of applications would continue, presumably because the government has taken the accountant's approach: any procedure against Cyprus at the European Court of Justice could take years to complete and the fine would be significantly lower than the income generated by approving the pending citizenships - in excess of a billion euros. There is a big danger, however, that the accountant's approach could turn out to be another gross miscalculation by a government that keeps getting things wrong.”

Dialogos (CY) /

Europe's grubby child

Cyprus has a major problem with its image, Dialogos explains:

“No serious foreign investor is willing to sully his name in a country that is heading for Commission infringement proceedings. Only crooks are likely to be interested in investing in a country like that. And this is precisely why it is teeming with fraudsters and wanted persons. Not a single EU institution regards Cyprus with confidence at the moment. Everyone is eyeing us with suspicion. And this has a huge negative impact on the economy and other areas, including the Cyprus question.”