Bulgaria ends controversial ‘golden passports’ scheme | News

The European Fee has repeatedly referred to as for the abolition of such schemes as a result of they create an incentive for corruption and cash laundering.

Bulgaria has abolished its controversial “golden passports” scheme providing citizenship of the EU member state in return for substantial funding, which had been criticised by Brussels.

The scheme made it attainable for foreigners to accumulate residency after they invested a minimal of 500,000 euros ($550,000) in Bulgaria, and citizenship after they invested a million euros ($1.1m).

The beneficiaries have been primarily from Russia, China and the Center East.

Bulgaria’s new authorities, which has made preventing corruption a key precedence, had already urged parliament to discontinue the granting of such passports in January.

The choice by Bulgarian MPS on Thursday comes after the awarding of “golden passports” was once more condemned by the European Parliament within the mild of Western sanctions targetting Russian oligarchs over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Earlier this month, MEPs repeated their name on Bulgaria, Malta and Cyprus to scrap each “golden passports” and “golden visas”.

The European Fee has repeatedly referred to as for the abolition of such schemes as a result of they create an incentive for corruption and cash laundering.

Full assessment

As a part of the choice, MPs additionally authorised a full assessment of all passports granted for the reason that scheme was launched in 2013.

In accordance with the justice ministry, about 100 such passports have been awarded thus far.

The earlier interim administration had final 12 months flagged issues about attainable irregularities in 47 circumstances.

Regardless of the choice, there’ll nonetheless be the choice of buying a residence allow beneath the scheme.

Malta has additionally stated it might droop granting “golden passports” to Russians and Belarusians till additional discover following the invasion of Ukraine.

In accordance with the European Parliament, no less than 130,000 individuals obtained a “golden passport” or a “golden visa” within the bloc between 2011 and 2019, producing 21.8 billion euros ($23.9bn) for the nations involved.

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