Commission slams Cyprus over passport scheme, says mulling infringement procedures


The European Commission expressed “disbelief” over new revelations concerning Cyprus’ investor citizenship scheme, saying that the body is looking into infringement procedures for Nicosia.

“We watched in disbelief how high-level officials were trading European citizenship for financial gains. President von der Leyen was clear when saying that European values are not for sale,” Christian Wigand, the Commission spokesman for Rule of Law, said in a regular briefing on Tuesday.

Wigan said the Commission has frequently raised its “serious concerns” about investor citizenship schemes, and directly with the Cypriot authorities.

The Commission is currently looking into compliance with EU law of the Cypriot scheme in view of possible infringement proceedings, he added.

Cyprus announced unexpectedly on Tuesday that its controversial Citizenship by Investment Program would be abolished, following an emergency cabinet meeting a day after Al Jazeera published a secret video alleging corruption.