[WATCH] Prime Minister says Malta’s IIP will attract ‘high-quality’ individuals

PN lambasts government for keeping Henley contract ‘secret’ by refusing urgent PAC debate before agenda is carried out   

Joseph Muscat addresses the Henley forum. Photo: Ray Attard
Joseph Muscat addresses the Henley forum. Photo: Ray Attard
Henley & Partners forum • Joseph Muscat (Video Ray Attard

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat delivered his pitch for Malta’s €1.15 million naturalisation programme at a forum convened by global citizenship experts Henley & Partners, organised in Malta at the Westin Dragonara, where he said that the Individual Investment Programme would attract “high-quality individuals to contribute to the nation’s wellbeing.”

On the ‘margins’ of the forum, the Nationalist opposition criticised Muscat’s government for denying the Opposition inside the parliamentary public accounts committee access to the contract between IIP concessionaires Henley, and the government.

Muscat today said the IIP was part of his government’s popular mandate to “bring in new and fresh ideas” and that Malta would protect its good, international reputation in attracting new citizens to Malta.

The IIP allows high net worth individuals to procure Maltese citizenship by paying €650,000 to a posterity fund, purchase a €350,000 property and investing €150,000 in government bonds.

Muscat told his audience of tax lawyers, property brokers and entrepreneurs that all prospective applicants faced a rigorous due diligence test. “Malta has good schools, strong education and healthcare systems,” Muscat said, saying the IIP will fund a posterity programme to sustain this welfare programme.

Nationalist criticism

In a statement, the PN said a ruling by Speaker Anglu Farrugia had already made it clear that the PAC should have access to the Henley contract.

PAC chairman Tonio Fenech said that the Speaker, the PAC chairman and a government representative should agree on which parts of the contract can be made public in a bid not to affect national security concerns.

“The government is still finding all manner of excuses not to apply the necessary scrutiny of this contract, by saying the debate on the IIP should not be considered with urgency and only considered after the PAC agenda is exhausted,” Fenech said.

“If this government truly has at heart transparency, it has to stop hindering the PAC’s work and submit the Henley contract for scrutiny.”

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