As published on international-adviser.com, Tuesday 21 July, 2020.
A proposal to publish the names of foreign individuals who have successfully applied for Malta’s Individual Investor Programme (IIP) has been given the boot by the government.
This is because secretary for citizenship Alex Muscat argued that the government’s legal advice was against having and setting up separate lists, reports the Times of Malta.
But the names of those who acquire Maltese citizenship will continue to be published in a single list, regardless of how they have acquired it.
The opposition member of parliament who put forward the proposal, Karol Aquilina, believed the measure would increase transparency and public accountability.
Prior to the introduction of the IIP in 2013, names were published with a distinction according to how individuals obtained citizenship.
The system was scrapped when the golden visa scheme was introduced.
The motion was defeated in parliament, with Muscat adding that the publication of names would be dealt with through legal notices.
A different proposal was also turned down by the government, where the opposition sought to introduce a report outlining the reasons behind denying people citizenship.
The secretary believed that such a report, and the dissemination of this kind of information, could go against Malta’s national interest, but names will be published.
Parliament, however, is currently debating the introduction of a different citizenship scheme replacing some IIP conditions.
This would require foreigners to live in Malta for at least a year before applying, and investing €750,000 (£680,649, $857,979) – up from the previous €650,000.
Those who spend €600,000 will need to be residents for three years before becoming eligible for a passport.
Minimum property investment value would also double under the draft scheme, to €700,000 from €350,000, and a €10,000 philanthropic donation will be mandatory.