Malta, EC reach agreement on citizenship, Reding welcomes breakthrough

European Commission to ensure that member states with similar programmes to Malta’s adhere to necessary requirements.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat addressing the press at Castille
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat addressing the press at Castille

Adds clarification on residency requirement

Malta and the European Commission have reached an agreement on the Individual Investor Programme after a series of negotiations carried out today.

The main changes to the citizenship scheme will see the inroduction of a minimum residency requirement of 12 months, kicking off from when the applicant purchases or rents a property, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said.

Although this does not mean that an applicant has to spend 365 days in Malta before citizenship is granted, Muscat said existent laws already regulated the definition of residency.

Malta has now secured an agreement with the European Commission that, if the government wants, it can issue more than 1,800 applications.

Originally, the government had said the scheme would be capped at 1,800 but the Commission has now agreed that it's up the member state to decide on the numbers.

Muscat said it was made amply clear during the meetings held that "citizenship was a competent matter of the member state".

The EU has also committed itself to see that similar programmes adopted by other member states undergo the necessary amendments.

"We have a political situation where the EU sought a way forward with us, whereas Simon Busuttil chose to act differently. It is clear that Busuttil was not right," Muscat said.

He added that the Commission has also agreed that once an applicant becomes a Maltese citizen, he will enjoy all rights enjoyed by Maltese and EU citizens.

"Revoking their citizenship will be illegal. Revoking their citizenship would land Malta before the EU Court," the Prime Minister said.

Muscat said he now expected the leader of the Opposition to withdraw both the judicial protest against the government and Henley & Partners and the motion tabled in parliament to repeal the legal notice.

"Simon Busuttil wanted to scrap this programme. All that was scrapped were his arguments."

European Commissioner Viviene Reding this evening welcomed the agreement reached with the government on the citizenship scheme. She said in a tweet:

"Glad that thanks to  support from European Parliament, constructive cooperation with the Maltese, we found a solution on the Maltese citizenship issue."

In a statement, Commissioner Reding's office said:

"On 29 January 2014, representatives of the European Commission's services and of the Government of Malta met on the issue of the Individual Investor Programme of the Republic of Malta.

The Maltese representatives presented their intentions regarding further amendments to the regulations issued under the Maltese Citizenship Act (L.N.450 of 2013), with a view to clarify that this Programme will confer full rights, responsibilities and a full citizenship status.

The amendments include genuine links to Malta through the introduction of an effective residence status in Malta prior to the possibility to acquire Maltese naturalisation.

No certificate of naturalisation will be issued unless the applicant provides proof that he/she has resided in Malta for a period of at least 12 months immediately preceding the day of issuing of the certificate of naturalisation.

In addition, the Government of Malta informed the Commission's services about its intention to evaluate whether an increase would need to be made to the current capping of main applicants under the Individual Investor Programme.

The Commission's services welcomed the announced amendments concerning the residence requirement – done in good faith and in a spirit of sincere cooperation and both parties express satisfaction about the understanding reached on this issue."

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She should be glad , she caused the mess.
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Great news! Let's move ahead. Simon's arguments were just a set-back. Wouldn't it be better if he sits-back and let the rightfully elected people govern?
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Am not joking; many 'avukati Nazzjonalisti' are queuing to get application forms for 'prostituting Malta! lol! They are all queuing to become financial 'pimps' All this whilst Simon and his arguzin implores;'Don't let me down'!
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Simple simon what's next now? You're waisting your and our time. Please let our country move forward and stop talk NONSENCE !!!
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issa min ghandu skema tac citadinanza bhal taghna irrid jirrispondiil eu ghax il faxxisti kixfuh proset pn veru mohh ta hmar
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This is the victory that matters, not the one in the Talking Shop. One action is worth a 1000 words. That's why you have to make your case with the people who matter. Now who's incapable of governing. Grow up, Simon.
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6 to 12 months 1800 to no limit capping Illegal to Legal Dr.Busuttil's plan to ashes
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To ALL PL apologists and lamers writing below I say: DONKOM MAHRUQIN LI JISEPH KELLU JIBLA KOLLOX U JAGHMEL KIF TGIDLU L EU Flok tibilaw it ross bil labra kif jaf jaghnel is Super ONE nissugerilkom taqraw Dan I artiklu http://euobserver.com/justice/122925 Forsi fl-ahhar tibdew tuzaw mohhkom!!!
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joseph mercieca
In less than a year three boadsides. 1: The agreement with China on Enemalta. 2: The settlement of the IIP 3: Next month a 25% discount on electricity and 5% discount on water. Ms. Redding you lead the charge agianst the IIP. Now do not try to regain the respect of the Maltese. If you just kept mum it would have been better. Your's and Simoms plans just turbed peared shaped. SO KISS MY A,, COMMISSIONER REDDING.
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Simon you sure proved yourself a clown,where is your 5 years residency (gone down the drain)where is your opening a business in malta(gone down the drain)and your 1000 australian singnitures are not worth s..t.NOW CAN YOU SHUT UP.
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When you buy services from a lady of the night , she is called a ***** . Malta is selling itself .. help me to differentiate.
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When you buy services from a lady of the night , she is called a ***** . Malta is selling itself .. help me to differentiate.
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When you buy services from a lady of the night , she is called a ***** . Malta is selling itself .. help me to differentiate.
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When you buy services from a lady of the night , she is called a ***** . Malta is selling itself .. help me to differentiate.
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lets move on now ........... and please please please dr busuttil dont waste any more of our time on nonsense
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David Bongailas
Does this mean that the PN will not be scrapping the scheme after all ? Wasn't it a matter of primciple according to Simon and friends ? Now that the opposition is also on board what will the opposition be talking about next ?? Cause all they did is talk about this scheme since the day after the budget. Malta prostituta remember ?. Guess she became a "brava donna" overnight.
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BLAJTU SIMON KIF TAF TAGHMEL<
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I notice at least 4 major improvements in the agreed refreshed scheme (1) Limit of 1800 removed (2) All damaging scaremongering has been reduced to ashes. That does not mean that these ashes will not be stuffed down the throats of instigators!!! (3) Residency rules would allow the prospective successful applicant to do the grand European tour whilst queuing to pay up. (4) Our competitors would have to stand scrutiny of their own present and future schemes. Well done Owen, whom I believe led the assault on the EU PN's instigated opposition.
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The final straw in Dr. Busuttil's ordeal is now has been burnt. Is he nuts or what? It seems that he and his party are living on a different galaxy. Well if they wish to do so, its to PL's advantage. Dr. Busuttil has the audacity to say that we bowed to the EU. Malta bows to no one. In our history we did not bow to Suleiman in the 16th Century and we either bowed to Hitler in the WWII. It is the PN who bow and lick other countries because they are fickle. Anyway, we all know that the majority of the PN and their supporters do not have real Maltese blood, they are descendants of nobles from Spain, France, Italy etc. Just study their surnames and their genealogy.
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A great agreement for the benefit of the country and the Maltese people. Well done PM, the Labour Gov. the Lab. MEPs and all those Gov. employees who contributed for this success.
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Simon and Pn just dug their own GRAVES and now can close it up.Thanks Vivian Reding and PL for excellent negotiations and lifting the 1800 residents capping.Now lets move on and be the best of the best (-:
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no Pirandello, this is not what the PN wanted. The PN wanted to tie residency to 5 years not 1 year. But of course, you forgot that
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Fejnhom dawk li ghajjru lil Malta prostituta ? Issa iridu imorru jilghaqu dak l besqu mill i-stonku taghom. ISSA IKOLL SIMON IRID IMUR IL PARLIAMENT U JIBLA LURA IT TEDDIDA LI IHASSAR IC CITTADINANZA LIL KULL MIN IKUN AKKWITA DIN IC CITTADINANZA.
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Eat your heart out Dr Xmun !!!!!!
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scrapit joseph simple simon said ara veru buffu and the money keep coming in to help the poor and our nation i am after you dear prim minister
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Miskin Simon raqad lagenba, haseb li sar Prim Ministru u li seta jiddetta u issa jinstab lura fid-dinja reali: jigifieri kap ta l-Oppozizzjoni b'9 siggijiet minoranza!
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X'waqa' għan nej waqajt int u waqqajt lill partit tiegħek Sur Busuttil! il-gideb li tigdeb lanqas it-tfal ma jemmnuh, jien ma nafx, kif mingħalija hemm xi erba serji madwarek u għadhom jissapportuk. Kif ma tistħiex tidher quddiem il kameras?
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Goodwill, good judgement, transparency, justice and truth have once more prevailed from both sides. Never before has Malta had such a dynamic government except with other MLP governments.
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Goodwill, good judgement, transparency, justice and truth have once more prevailed from both sides. Never before has Malta had such a dynamic government except with other MLP governments.
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Honestly, I was just telling a friend of mine, exactly what Dr. buffoon Busuttil will say in his press conference, and sure enough, lo and behold, we have to thank him, that the European commission made Dr. Joseph stop??? this baħnanata of his? noooooooooo, that is not what PN wanted was it? No all they wanted was to make Dr. Joseph realize that this great idea of bringing so much money into our coffers in such a short time, was really their idea but Dr. Joseph because he's a mere Laburist, bażwara and they had to resort to the EU to get him to see sense. Maybe 1 MEP for Europe on the PN ticket these coming elections? I have my doubt even about this. Do Maltese politics a favour, and your party faithful an even bigger one, p**s off, and let real gentlemen lead their party in the interest of all the Maltese
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The PM has smelt the coffee.
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Mela tkaxkira tajba, u issa waqa ghan nejs. Dawk li traddixxew lil Pajjizna ma ghandhomx jiehdu vot wiehed. Malta L-Ewwel u Qabel Kollox. Viva Malta tal-patrijotti u mhux tat-traditturi.
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PROSET.ISSA DALWAQT IL PN JGHID LI BIS SAHHA TIEGHU.SIMON IKOLLU JIBLA KOLLOX
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This is after all what the PN had suggested, to tie the scheme with a minimum residence period of 12 months. So why didn't he accept it in the first place before all that negative publicity on Malta? That is what an inexperienced PM is capable to do.
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"The main changes to the citizenship scheme will see the minimum residency requirement to increase from six months to 12 months, after which citizenship would be granted to the applicant." Since when did the current scheme provide for a six month residency requirement ? One expects accurate reporting and this reference should be corrected. J. Ellis.
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ha ha ha boomerang li giet f nofs rashek xmun busullotti . l-iskema xorta se ssir minkejja il hsara internazzjonali li ghamilt. il miljun xorta se jitqassmu lil maltin u il partit fallut tieghek se jkompli jaqa ghar redicolu bi tkaxkiriet bhal marzu 2013.BUFFU !
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Eat your heart out Simon. You have not only not succeeded to stop the IIP but now the Government can extend it to more than 1,800. NOT CAPPED Simon. More money for Malta's coffer and more nails in your Peee N coffin.