Die Presse today: ‘Malta’s lucrative trade in passports’

Published: January 7, 2014 at 10:45pm

Die Presse 7 January 2014

The Austrian newspaper Die Presse has run a report today on Malta’s sale of passports.

The Nationalist Party’s fifth columnists must have been bribing or ‘persuading’ people in Vienna.

Come on, it can’t possibly be that all these newspapers and media houses across the world think so little of these amazing plans.

Somebody must be paying them off or brainwashing them with PN propaganda.

Here’s the translation.


The government in Valletta wants to sell, as from February, 1,800 passports for 650,000 euros each. A British consulting firm will make a fortune from this.

Vienna / Valletta. One thousand, eight hundred EU passports at 650,000 euros each – that is, in a nutshell, the new business model of the small island state of Malta, which should come into force as early as February. This is the plan: well-heeled individuals who want to become EU citizens can apply to the government in Valletta.

If the response is positive, the new EU citizens can get more passports – for their children, parents, spouses and in-laws – for just 25,000 to 50,000 euros each. This means that the island state, with its 420,000 inhabitants, could find itself with up to 20,000 new citizens or so in the coming years. The owners of these new Maltese passports will have the right to travel to all 28 EU countries to live and work. But no way do they have to be resident in Malta or are they going to be made to invest on the island.

The EU Observer reports that a British consultancy company called Henley & Partners will be handling this scheme. There will be a four-stage process, including due diligence on each applicant, including birth certificates and police conduct certificates. But Henley has a vested interest in issuing positive due diligence reports on applicants, because the company will receive a magnificent four per cent of what applicants pay. This means that on the sale of 1,800 Maltese passports, Henley will profit by 45 million euros, and this does not include the further passports for family members.

Small wonder that criticism of the Maltese plans was not long in coming. The EU Parliament has put the issue on the agenda for the first plenary session this month. Weeks ago, the SPÖ MEP Jörg Leichtfried described the Maltese government’s plan as cynicism: refugees drown in the Mediterranean while the rich buy their way into Europe. And the Maltese Opposition is angry because selling passports makes the island appear to be in serious financial crisis.

Incredibly, this plan is not counter to EU law because naturalisation issues are a sovereign matter for EU member states. “These rules define the criteria for citizenship,” Innsbruck specialist in European law, Walter Obwexer, says. “The European Commission cannot act against the sale of passports. The numbers, at a few hundred naturalisations a year, level off.”

Valletta justifies this by saying that other EU countries have done the same. Crisis-torn countries such as Spain and Portugal already have similar plans, it says. Cyprus also offers citizenship to those who invest generously. The UK offers citizenship to non-EU foreigners who invest at least a million pounds. And the Netherlands will give permanent residence permits to more those who invest more than 1.25 million euros.

In Austria, a “close relationship” to the country is mandatory for the granting of citizenship, which is also awarded to those who render ‘outstanding services’.

Across the EU in 2011 – the latest figures available are for that year – 783,100 persons were granted EU citizenship, including 6,700 people who became Austrian citizens (a slight increase over the previous year, when 6,100 became Austrian citizens). Most naturalisations were recorded in the United Kingdom (177,600 people). Overall, the majority of immigrants came from Africa (26 per cent and Asia (23 percent).

10 Comments Comment

  1. H.P. Baxxter says:

    The Kashmir Times:


    Dang, those dastardly PN apologists have even crossed the Himalayas.

  2. ciccio says:

    There is an important point that needs to be asked.

    The prime minister mentioned that he plans to set up a Sovereign Wealth Fund which will receive the proceeds from the sale of European citizenship.

    What exactly will the Fund be doing with the money that, according to the government’s plan, it will receive from the IIP, if this scheme is ever launched?

    Will the Fund be expected to invest the money in assets, shares, foreign reserves, etc, or will it simply spend them on free housing for Labour votes?

    A Sovereign Wealth Fund would administer assets and in five years’ time it would have accumulated in it all the funds derived from all the passports sold. The government would be allowed to draw only the profits from such fund, but not to deplete its capital.

  3. Tabatha White says:

    The concept of citizenship has been turned on its head:

    Citizenship is now a tool to be dealt with by financial services regulators. Why?

    In the EU there are guidelines for fairness and impartiality but more importantly for the integrity of the instruments offered under financial services, and how the consequences impact the rest of the European market.

    It appears to me that this filter is escaping the lens.

    This is the area so close to the Prime Minister’s heart, that he was rapporteur on this very issue during his stint as MEP, way back in 2006.


    The fact that the whole of the sale of citizenship issue was so markedly left out of the Labour electoral “manifest,” but was analysed so far in advance of its appearance, highlights the same tactics of perception deception blitzing that Hitler used in his rise to power.

  4. vanni says:

    The author, Dr. Claudia Kornmeier is secretly Maltese, and a PN supporters to boot. She also seems to be fluent in German:


    And I saw these two at the Stamperija just this morning:


    PS Daphne : I just came across this today, but it was uploaded 13/11/2013

  5. Brian says:

    I didn’t know about this until now. Wow.

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