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Busuttil pledges a more stringent IIP scheme

'Under a PN government, the IIP will no longer be considered as the sale of Maltese citizenship' - Simon Busuttil

tim_diacono
Tim Diacono
12 May 2017, 5:42pm
A Nationalist government will tighten up the Individual Investment Programme, adding more conditions under which people will be applicable for Maltese citizenship, PN leader Simon Busuttil has said.

Responding to questions at the end of a press conference, Busuttil said that as Prime Minister he will commission a group of experts to revise the IIP programme and propose means to make it harder to acquire citizenship.

“Our reform will reform the notion that the IIP is essentially the sale of citizenship,” he said. “Let’s be clear, Joseph Muscat’s original idea was for people to pay €650,000 to purchase passports off the shelf. The PN had forced Muscat to introduce other conditions, and as a government we will seek to add even more conditions.”

He reiterated that the PN government will “clean up” the IIP programme after it was tainted in the wake of reports that the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri took kickbacks from the sale of citizenship.

The PN leader refused to entertain questions on whether a PN government will update citizenship laws to make it easier for immigrants who have settled in Malta to acquire Maltese citizenship.

When the Labour government introduced the IIP back in 2013, Busuttil came out strongly against it, describing the scheme as “obscene” and tantamount to slapping a price-tag on Maltese identity.