Cyprus is selling citizenship - The Guardian forms public opinion with false information

Shanda Consult Ltd, October 10, 2017

On 17 September the British daily newspaper ‘The Guardian’ published an article headed “Cyprus 'selling' EU citizenship to super rich of Russia and Ukraine”.

‘The Guardian’ is a reputable newspaper published since 1821, then under the name of ‘Manchester Guardian’, which is committed to reliable journalism and the distribution of true information.

Having this in mind, we cannot assume that ‘investigative’ journalists of The Guardian are fools, but we believe to the contrary that they are skilled journalists who painstakingly research on the topics they are going to write about.

The German ‘Der Spiegel’ published a translation of the article on 18 September 2017, titled “Zypern nimmt mit Verkauf von EU-Pässen offenbar Milliarden ein“ („Cyprus apparently makes billions with the sale of passports”).

Obviously, Der Spiegel did not collect information with its own journalists, but referred to the article published by The Guardian.

In brief, the articles say that the Government of Cyprus made 4 billion Euro until now, by ‘selling’ Cyprus citizenship.

For those who are not aware of the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Programme:

The Cyprus Government is not selling citizenship. Correct is, that citizenship is granted to individuals who realise an investment in Cyprus of minimum 2 million Euro.

The fee collected by the Government is actually only 5.000 Euro per application, which may include the applicant and certain family members, plus 2.000 Euro grant fee for each individual on one application. That’s it. The Government of Cyprus is not realising any substantial income, as The Guardian and Der Spiegel tried to make readers believing.

The actual investment of the investors goes to the market. Qualifying investment can be done in real estate, factories, banks (as capital contribution), infrastructural projects and similar. Whatever the investment is, min. 500.000 must be invested in a private property of the investor.

It is the market of Cyprus that benefited and benefits from those investments of 4 billion Euros. Those investments create jobs, consumption, and thus they increase the tax revenue of the Republic of Cyprus. Well done!

Considering the small size of the country, 4 billion Euros in about 4 years is a substantial injection of funds into the country, well needed after the crises in 2013.

The current annual budget of Cyprus is about 15 billion Euros (in revenues). 1 billion Euros injection into the markets is almost 7% of the annual state budget.

Comparing this with the annual revenues 2017 of the United Kingdom of 744 billion Pounds, 7% would equal to an extra injection of funds into the markets of 52 billion Pounds. Which UK resident would not have been happy about this?

In case of Germany, a 7% injection into the markets would equal to 86,8 billion Euros. Which German would say, “nein, danke!” (no, thank you)?

Granting residence permits and citizenships against a considerable investment is not a new idea of Cyprus, or of some other EU member states that offer a similar citizenship programme. Citizenship by investment has been offered by countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand and others since many decades.

Are the voices of The Guardian and Der Spiegel not loud enough to blame Canada, Australia and other larger countries?

The article of The Guardian and its translated version of Der Spiegel mentioned mainly Russians and Ukrainians as new citizens by investment of Cyprus. This picture is not true. Chinese individuals are another large group, plus individuals from Gulf countries and Egypt.

The articles also blamed the low level of compliance and due diligence in respect of the applicants and their funds. It is worth to state at this point that the applied compliance and due diligence of banks in Cyprus is stricter than in the UK and much stricter than in Germany.

Last but not least I cannot come to an end with this little article without spotting the many investments of Russians in London and other British cities, spotting the many Russian oligarchs who permanently live in England. And I have to spot the substantial investments of Russians in the German real estate market. The majority of Russian investments is the UK and in Germany are realised through offshore companies.

Also worth to mention: You can get UK citizenship by investment of min. 5 million Pounds. Or, US citizenship by investment of 500.000 to 1.000.000 Dollars, depending on the programme that you opt for, plus creating 10 full-time jobs, again depending on the programme. And even Germany has its citizenship by investment programme! You need to proof that you are able to invest minimum 1 Mio Euros in a new or existing business, and that you will create 10 new full-time jobs. The procedures in Germany are lengthy, though.

Facit: Unfortunately, propaganda is the choice of the day to redirect the eyes from own problems.

Original-Inhalt von Shanda Consult Ltd und übermittelt von Shanda Consult Ltd