The government’s lies and propaganda about Austria ‘doing the same’ need to be blown out of the water

Published: October 29, 2013 at 7:57am

Our government and its numerous elves seek to give the impression that Austria has a ‘passports for sale’scheme, so it’s OK for us to do the same.

Austria does NOT have a passports-for-sale scheme. Why would it? Malta’s scheme is cloned on that of Caribbean island states St Kitts & Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda, and Grenada. This is because it was drawn up by the same people, Henley & Partners.

And Henley & Partners are the ones spreading the misinformation that Austria sells passports, for commercial reasons of their own.

From a Reuters report dated 13 February last year, in which Henley & Partners are described as “the pirates of the Caribbean”:

A third country, Austria, may also offer citizenship for an investment . A provision in the Austrian Citizenship Act states that citizenship can be granted to an applicant if he or she has performed, or would later perform, “extraordinary services” to benefit the Austrian state.

Henley & Partners, a firm that specializes in repatriation, maintains that investing large sums of money constitutes an “extraordinary service.” And Christian Kalin, a partner at the firm, said during a November conference in London that his clients have successfully obtained Austrian passports in this manner. In Henley’s brochure, Henley says Austria extends citizenship for those who invest at least $10 million.

Alice Irvin, a spokeswoman at the Austrian embassy in Washington, D.C., strongly rejects suggestions that the country’s citizenship is for sale. “We are aware that these claims have been around for a while, but they are baseless,” she wrote in an email. Henley’s CEO, Eric Major, says otherwise.

“The candidate has to have all the right trimmings,” says Major. “It’s been done, it’s possible, but it’s fairly rare.”

16 Comments Comment

  1. It all stinks says:

    Thank you, Daphne. This point hasn’t been made strongly enough. Whoever is trying to justify this scheme by comparing it to what is possible in Austria is manipulative (on the part of Henleys) or ignorant (just to give Muscat the benefit of the doubt). They are most certainly not the same.

  2. Min Jaf says:

    An excellent track record for Joseph Muscat.

    In the space of a few short weeks, rather than months, it has come to light that Joseph Muscat has been conned, and is still being duped at the expense of the Maltese tax payer, by Shiv Nair, Henley & Partners, John Dalli, and by China-owned blacklisted companies.

    • Aw' tal-passaporti! Shan u tajbin! says:

      I don’t agree. Joseph Muscat is not being conned, he is not being duped. He knows exactly what he is saying and doing. He is trying to con and dupe us. But many of us are not sheep…most of us are.

  3. Nik says:

    Austria has very tough rules about this in fact. The far-right Freedom Party got into trouble not too long ago because it had been offering fast-track citizenship to Russian businessmen in exchange for campaign donations. Does this ring a bell?

  4. Niki B says:

    This is the information page on acquiring Austrian citizenship. It is VERY different from what Joey and Manwel are proposing.

    • ciccio says:

      “Austria is in heart of Europe with a rich central european culture and most renowned for transportation. Austria is the only country in Europe officially offering `Citizenship by Investment` or `Economic citizenship` program, to foreign persons who invest substantially in the growth of Austria economy.”

      Even after Malta introduces its sale of passports, Austria is set to remain “the only country in Europe” officially offering EU citizenship to foreign persons who “invest substantially” in the growth of the economy.

      Malta will in fact become the first and only country in Europe to prostitute its own, and the European, citizenship, for a one-night stand that costs from as little as euro 25,000.

  5. manum says:

    If and I repeat IF, Austria is such an example to us why don’t we adopt a more direct approach as to how Austria integrates within the EU. Lejber makes the EU look more like an opportunity buffet, of pick and choose what you like, and discard what doesn’t look worthwhile.

  6. anthony says:

    For me, the simple fact that the names of our new fellow-citizens will not be made public is proof enough that none of them will have “all the right trimmings”.

    I dread to think what their trimmings will be like.

    The country’s reputation is being betrayed for a few million euros of blood money.

    Otherwise their names would not be kept secret.

    The PL would parade their impeccable credentials across the four corners of the globe.

    It seems certain that this utterly disgusting plan will fill Malta’s cupboards with skeletons of the most dreaded variety.

    • curious says:

      There is one thing which I cannot understand. Will these names be also omitted from the electoral register?

      Or will there be a name change so as not to be conspicuous?

      Will there be a record at some minister’s office and which will also be available for reference even if there is eventually a change of government?

      Jew ghal gol-bir tas-skieken dawn l-ismijiet.

  7. Tabatha White says:

    Manwel Mallia’s trickery here consists of referring to the Sale of Citizenships as though it were the concept rather than solely the idea.

    The range that a concept is on has at the broad end flavour, then direction, then concept, then idea, then value, then benefit.

    The Sale of Citizenships in this discussion is merely one idea emanating from the whole of the Financial Services concept and ought never to be taken as the concept itself.

    The argument Manwel Mallia and the Labour Party are presenting is flawed from its fundaments.

    Manwel Mallia appears to still be defending a bunch of criminals, not that better was expected from either the one or the other.

    Jealousy is an emotion and does not enter the discussion of rational individuals.

    The discussion should be listing the values and benefits of this particular idea as it falls within the concept and workings, EU directives and principles, of Financial Services in an EU country.

    JM made sure to be familiar with these principles during his time as MEP. He was the specific rapporteur on the matter.

    Time for language and thought precision.

    • ciccio says:

      Besides, Joseph Muscat wants to make immigration an EU issue, so that his government will take no responsibility for it, and hence he will assume no blame for his government’s failures.

      But then, he is making EU citizenship his own fiefdom and property, selling it to whoever he deems fit, for the price he sets.

      Does he seriously think that the European voters are that stupid? Isn’t he aware how difficult it was for German voters to be persuaded to bail-out the Mediterranean countries which had indulged in all sorts of excesses until they hit the wall?

  8. M. says:

    Even if every Tom, Dick and Harry were selling their passports in the way Labour has proposed and is bulldozing ahead with, it STILL does not make it right, but a Labourite would never see that, would they?

  9. Tabatha White says:

    Presenting “Jealousy” into the discussion is Manwel Mallia’s manner of technically introducing a barrier into the discussion.

    Discussion depends on free exploration of an idea: all input for and against should be brought to support any idea and to provide a route by which the eventual idea can materialise.

    Emotions depend on ego and ego is directly linked to loss of face.

    Once ego enters the discussion, one is less likely to adopt superior input that deflects the dangers another idea in the discussion has thrown up.

    The result is that the discussion is now about defending the ego position not the actual benefits of the discussion.

    This too is a tactic to block further discussion.

    The one party ideal of the Labour party was never really about parallel thinking, but about knowing how to block and preempt valid discussion.

    This is where the analysis of the thinking that is taking place is important.

  10. ciccio says:

    If Joseph Muscat needs the services of due diligence on any issue of importance, he can refer his issues to Daphne Caruana Galizia and free due diligence will be done for him here.

    I am sure that the Clowns in Castille never analysed the bullsh*t that Henley & Partners, or others, told them about the scheme which they propose to put in place, in as much detail as has been done here.

  11. Wilson says:

    But this was obvious. If Austria had a passport for sale system: half of the Balkans would have bought one. The stupid fibs are childish.

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