Doing our darndest not to simply call it ‘sale of citizenship’ shows a certain jitteriness about the IIP

No 7. The IIP

What are we skinning? The Individual Investors’ Programme, or the ‘Golden Passport’ or ‘sale of citizenship’ scheme.

Why are we skinning it? As my own euphemistic breakdown above already shows, it takes a certain amount of ‘skinning’ to even get to what the procedure is all about, which is all kind of interesting vis-a-vis the political discourse surrounding this latest innovation in the Maltese economic mechanism.

Why is it interesting? Well, surely you’ll agree that doing our darndest not to simply call it ‘sale of citizenship’ shows a certain jitteriness to the thing?

Oh, come on. Everything is euphemised in politics, really. And now you’re just opening us up to the bullying discourse of larger countries that are jealous of our ways of managing the economy of a small state... Okay, just stop it.

Why? It’s only fair to point out our scale in the grand scheme of things. Sure, but one must also remember that not all criticism stems from jealousy, and that a lax and abusive approach to the IIP can lead to the erosion of the quality of life of the average Maltese person too.

But more money swirling around can’t really be a bad thing, can it? If people want a Maltese citizenship and are willing to pay for it, why should we stop them? ‘More money swirling around’ can certainly end up in darker swirls if we let it. And let’s not forget the torturous fate of would-be naturalised citizens: normal working people who have acclimatised to Maltese life and have to jump through bureaucratic hoops for years in order to get a chance that something that can be granted to a multi-millionaire virtually upon the snapping of fingers.

But the IIP agency suspended the contract of that businessman who bragged about his political contacts? Surely this shows that seriousness is the order of the day? It was certainly a welcome step, but let’s not rely on French news agencies to bust any inconsistencies. It’s best for them to be nipped in the bud.

Do say: “Some extra cash from the global ultra-rich always comes in handy when channelled into the right sources through fully transparent procedures, but these procedures do need to remain transparent and under constant scrutiny”

Don’t say: “What’s the deal with ‘naturalised’ citizens anyway?! Nature don’t pay the bills... that’s why we cut down trees.”