The Frankfurter Allgemeine, one of Germany’s newspapers of record, today runs the headline ‘Criticism of sale of citizenship: “Malta traffics in human beings”

Published: November 16, 2013 at 8:11pm

Frankfurter Allgemeine_2

The Frankfurter Allgemeine, one of the world’s most reputable newspapers and a newspaper of record in Germany, today runs a damning story about the Maltese government’s decision to sell citizenship.

The headline is: ‘Sale of citizenship: “Malta traffics in human beings”‘. The lead-in to the story says:

For 650,000 euros Malta wants to sell its nationality. Politicians in the European Parliament react angrily to this decision. In the Federal Government there is resistance.

Here is the report itself, in idiomatic translation.

The European Parliament and the Federal Government are to resist Malta’s decision to sell its nationality for 650,000 euros.

“The socialist government in Malta has found a new way to traffic in human beings. This is pathetic and vile,” MEP Elmar Brok told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

The deputy chairman of the conservative EPP Group in the European Parliament, the CSU politician Manfred Weber, said: “Passports for the Schengen area should not be sold off in the bazaar.”

Even the deputy chairman of the Liberal group (FDP), Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, expressed his outrage: “Malta has turned EU citizenship into its own national commodity. We Europeans must not stand for this.”

Brok, Weber and Lambsdorff have called on the EU Commission to consider whether Malta has violated the letter or spirit of European Treaties. In a first reaction to the Maltese decision, the Commission pointed out last week that member states are sovereign in decisions on to whom they give their nationality. “But this is not a national affair,” the CSU politician Weber countered. “Malta is, ultimately, selling legal access to the EU.”

With citizenship of one EU country, an individual acquires citizenship of the Union as a whole. This includes the right to reside in any other country of the European Union and to operate there economically and participate in local elections.

“If there is a loophole in EU law which allows for trade in citizenship, then we must close it,” said the CDU politician, Brok. The European People’s Party (EPP) wants to discuss the Maltese decision at the next meeting of the Committee on Internal Affairs.

Representatives of the (German federal) government representatives have not said anything about Malta, and neither the (German) Foreign Secretary nor the (German) Home Secretary would comment. But (German) Minister of State Michael Link, as the representative of (German) Foreign Minister Westerwelle, has been asked to seek information from Westerwelle’s Maltese counterpart (Maltese foreign minister George Vella) at the Council of the EU foreign ministers on Tuesday, and to request that Berlin be briefed.

(German) Interior Minister Friedrich is also expected to request his Maltese counterpart (Home Affairs Minister Manuel Mallia), during the next meeting of European interior and justice ministers in early December, not to implement the sale of citizenship law.

The government in Valletta expects revenues of 30 million euros from the sale of Maltese citizenship in the first year, with that amount multiplying in the years to follow.

18 Comments Comment

  1. pazzo says:

    Kemm huma cwiec dawn Joseph u Manwel. Qatt ma taw kaz kliem ix-xih: ahjar habib fis-suq milli mitt skud fis-senduq.

  2. gorg says:

    Dik hi id-direzzjoni il-gdida ta Muscat.

    Away from Europe and towards Libya and China.

  3. James says:

    I have German friends whom I visit regularly. When i’m introduced to their friends, I’m introduced at the Maltese. Up till some time ago, I used to get positive or no reactions. During my last visit in August/September I was asked why on earth we’re pushing back poor, weak immigrants.

    I will be going to Germany again next week. I can only imagine what reaction I’ll get this time round.

    Why is it become so embarrassing to be Maltese?

  4. Bubu says:

    It appears that Labour have again landed us in deep doodoo. No surprises there.

    As an aside, while surfing radio channels I happened to come across il-Guy ranting away in parliament this morning. It had been a while since I heard him speak and I was astonished at how senile he sounds. I’d hazard a guess that the tourism industry is in for some hard times.

    [Daphne – He doesn’t just SOUND senile. There’s the physical evidence of premature senility, too. Look at him – he’s totally shrunk in that doddery way and everybody’s pretending not to have noticed.]

  5. ciccio says:

    From the picture I see that Berlin has already despatched the Luftwaffe to attack us again. Good. This time we truly deserve it. Thanks to the switchers.

  6. rpacebonello says:

    I thought that the law was meant to attract investment. Looks like it’s having the desired effect.

  7. Daffid says:

    Of course it’s wrong. It is inconceivable that the Maltese government can somehow grant the right of residence in another EU country through the sale of its passports.

    Imagine what our reaction would be if this scheme was being run by some country other than Malta and the ‘new citizens’ decided Malta was the best place to take up residence.

  8. ciccio says:

    Based on the Frankfurter Allgemeine report, the shit has hit the fan. The matter was stinking already. Now it’s getting messy.

  9. canon says:

    Joseph Muscat wants to stop the departure of illegal immigrants from Libya so that he can offer them the trip to Europe for 650,000 Euro. He lost all credibility as regards the illegal immigrants.

  10. Nik says:

    Of course there will be consequences, but by then they will have sold passports to those to whom they are beholden and the debt will have been repaid. Moreover, if the new law is struck down because of measures taken in Brussels, Labour’s innate anti-EU stance will kick in, so it’s a win-win situation for these crass opportunists.

  11. Spock says:

    I’ve got a feeling that the EU is now rallying its forces to stop this pimping of Maltese passports before it is allowed to take off and cause harm to the Union.

    The utter humiliation and degradation that our country is going to suffer as a consequence of these actions will be unbearable. Malta’s name is being dragged through the mud of greed and dishonour…and stupidity.

  12. Pied Piper says:

    Now that Malta is a EU member state and forms part of the Schengen zone, the Maltese passport has become an important and valuable tool to applicants of third world countries.

    It is worrying that the whole world is taking the mickey out of our country which is being labelled as prostituting itself for hard cash.

    It takes many a year to build up a good reputation but it takes just a very short time to lose it. Our government seems to be more afraid of losing money than of losing face.

    The Labour government (Minister Owen Bonnici on last Friday’s Xarabank) is now pinning the blame for this bad publicity on the Opposition; how politically naïve to make this accusation when weeks ago it was government itself that has been advertising the scheme in China.

    The international press was eagerly waiting for the scheme to become law in order to spread the news. It did spread like wildfire and it went viral with negative comments by individuals from all parts of the globe.

    The die is cast and the damage is done.

    The government knows this and it is now trying to make amends by announcing that the anonymity clause will be deleted; the ink has not yet dried up yet the law is already being amended.

    One now awaits EU action or action by individual member states.

    But, according to Labour, the future beckons.

  13. P Shaw says:

    Speaking of stupidity and utter nuttiness, the kitten from Malta is theorizing on Facebook that the international press, including those over the Atlantic, is being organized and maneuvered by a certain blogger – whose name is never mentioned. Apparently, this is being done to harm the economy and the country’s image.

    Is this guy for real? Did he ever grow up or mature in a normal way?

    I never thought I would say this. Kevin’s conspiracy theories pale by comparison.

    • Jozef says:

      The man can’t even see architecture when it’s there, needing plenty of scrollwork and fluted columns to avoid unsettling.

      Of course he can’t think logically.

  14. George says:

    One comment from Thomas Feige as translated by Google read like this: “A question of morality …

    It is not forbidden to sell the nationality of a country, but I have to ask myself whether the time is well chosen. A moment on the many reports of refugees on Europe’s borders are in the newspapers, of which drown thousands and those who have survived this hell ride will be deported again, and no country would accept them. And just then Malta is small and therefore proclaims “Everyone can help us, € 650,000 per person please.”

  15. Trisha says:

    I may have missed it, but has Norman Lowell said anything yet about the sale of Maltese citizenship?

    [Daphne – Do we give a damn? I mean, do you actually want him to speak out against it and foul up that side of the fence? Do you wish to share even one view with scum like that?]

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