Deconstructing Citizenship

If I were the President of Malta, I would prefer resigning than signing such unannounced, significant and divisive legislation, unless it is approved by referendum

The Labour Government had parliamentary legitimacy to introduce its cash-for-citizenship law. But through this policy, Labour has unintentionally opened a Pandora's box and manufactured a risk scenario, on various aspects.

First, by saying that the funds generated from the IIP will be used for social development can raise questions about Malta's state of public finances and about the general state of the economy. Looking at the reaction, globally and nationally towards this policy, will Malta be effectively associated with Southern European near-bankrupt welfare states and with Caribbean tax havens? Perception is very important in economics. 

Second, by guaranteeing anonymity to those who purchase citizenship, inevitable questions are asked. Why should such persons remain anonymous? Is there a link with party financing, given Malta's lack of legislation in this area? What argument can be used to justify a person's expensive purchase of full access to the EU whilst remaining anonymous?

Third, the fact that cash-for-citizenship was not in Labour's electoral manifesto raises questions as to why it was left out from pre-electoral debate, both within the party and also within society in general. 

In an otherwise strong showing in his budgetary reply earlier this week, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat did not convince me when he justified cash-for-citizenship by saying that 7,000 foreigners were granted Maltese citizenship in the past years. What Muscat did not say was that everyone could have applied for this, that it was transparent, and that there was no €650,000 price tag. Hence, the new law is discriminatory in favour of those who can afford to buy citizenship.

So my concern on the issue does not regard 'nationalism'. Citizenship itself is not a monolithic term, and it can be deconstructed and interpreted in various ways. My concern is that anonymous millionaires are now entitled to purchases rights in Malta and the EU, something which, because of class inequality is denied to others.

This policy legitimizes class inequality and discrimination, rendering 'citizenship' to another commodity in the endless capitalist quest for the commodification of everything, and in the State's attempts to avoid fiscal crisis. Malta has already had enough of this through the privatization of public land.

If I were the President of Malta, I would prefer resigning than signing such unannounced, significant and divisive legislation, unless it is approved by referendum. It is now up to civil society to stand up to be counted and call for one.

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being a father mr briguflio you should know that your son will have to make up for the awful and arrogant handling of our money by the pn! by the time he is a man we will still be paying for their errors!
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Read and digest Mikil, hali titalem qabel tibda tpeclaq int u siehbek l'gharef james debono. http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20131118/local/the-draw-of-foreign-passports.495185#.Uom893W3Uls.email
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The President cannot withdraw his assent to the parliamentary bill (probably he has already done so). The constitutional theory that we follow holds that the British monarch should give his assent to the very same bill abolishing the monarchy. But in this particular instance, the President of the Republic has an additional unique role as it is up to him, and not to some minister as is usually the case, to enact the legal notice which will implement the IIP scheme. In this legislative role, the President is not fettered by the Constitution and he is not duty bound to enact the draft legal notice on the lines proposed by the government, or even enact it at all. It would be wise if the President were to take a pause before enacting said legal notice and hold discussions with all interested parties in order to try and work out a more acceptable compromise. Steamrolling the legal notice in spite of the widespread opposition to the scheme is hardly in the national interest. J. Ellis.
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Michael I think you have many talents but certainly not that to be presidential material. Your second point re anonymity which perhaps those of us who provide constructive criticism were concerned about has now been removed.Who knows perhaps in his softly softly inimitable style the president did make some very constructive criticism for polishing this scheme. Certainly what galls and disappoints is the negative, arrogant and politically threatening way the opposition tried to impose their opinions as if they were still in power. As regards those who rushed to their EU big daddy my disgust must be shared by many true nationalists.
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Michael, thank God you aren't.
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If I were the President of Malta, mhur gibek brugulio, ghara kemm tikbirlek rasek, iddahhakx nies bik.
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You can't govern by plebiscite every time the opposition goes into hysterics, which is continually and about every thing. A referendum should have been held when the PN went on its spending and debt binge putting Maltese bonds on a headlong route to junk bond status, thus endangering our fiscal reputation. Additionally, the PN were obliging unborn generations to shoulder the burden of their fiscal incompetence. No one spoke out against this intergenerational plunder and demanded a referendum to protect futurity. There are aspects of this citizenship law that are, to put it mildly, controversial. But we have the safety valve of knowing that it can be amended or repealed at the pleasure of the Maltese parliament. Whereas the Dublin treaty, signed by Gonzi et al, cannot be altered in any form by any Maltese parliament, present or future. We're bound to observe its statutes no matter how harmful they might be to Malta's interest. In this latter case, where there is no chance of possible future amendment or abrogation, no one called for a referendum.
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Citizens (voters) should never be anonymous. This may lead to abuse in the future.
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The President cannot withdraw his assent to the parliamentary bill (probably he has already done so). The constitutional theory that we follow holds that the British monarch should give his assent to the very same bill abolishing the monarchy. But in this particular instance, the President of the Republic has an additional unique role as it is up to him, and not to some minister as is usually the case, to enact the legal notice which will implement the IIP scheme. In this legislative role, the President is not fettered by the Constitution and he is not duty bound to enact the draft legal notice on the lines proposed by the government, or even enact it at all. It would be wise if the President were to take a pause before enacting said legal notice and hold discussions with all interested parties in order to try and work out a more acceptable compromise. Steamrolling the legal notice in spite of the widespread opposition to the scheme is hardly in the national interest. J. Ellis.

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