Malta: the citizenship programme will continue to work despite EU criticisms

July 2, 2020
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Malta's citizenship programme will work despite EU criticisms
Photo: Adobe Stock
Malta’s Citizenship for Investment Programme brings tangible benefits to the country. It will continue to work despite criticism from the EU. Alex Muscat, Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship, made several arguments in favour of the programme. He published a statement in which he responded to EU criticism of Malta.

Malta’s Citizenship for Investment Programme will continue to work despite the criticisms of the EU. This was stated by Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship Alex Muscat.

The country listens to the opinion of the European Union and seeks to meet common standards, but not to the detriment of its own interests.

Malta Citizenship Investment Program

Alex Muscat published an appeal in which he responded to EU criticism of the citizenship programme for investment. He believes that it should continue to work despite the negative attitude of the European Union. He gave several arguments.

  • Malta issues only 300 passports per year, with the programme bringing the country €1.4 billion over 6 years.
  • The citizenship programme has had a positive impact on Malta’s economy and has supported it in difficult times. We have previously reported that the Government spends money on healthcare, construction and social projects. In 2020, the funds raised helped to fight the pandemic.
  • The Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship emphasized that Malta had the most stringent Due Diligence. He noted that other countries were rejecting far fewer applications for participation in programmes. Malta was pleased to share its knowledge and practices in the area of security screening with other States.
  • Alex Muscat pointed out that citizenship and residence permit programmes for investment had a positive impact on the EU economy. He said that the programmes were indirectly beneficial even to countries that did not provide passports to investors.

Malta’s programme allows wealthy people to live and do business in any EU country. This stimulates investment flows. In addition, in order to participate in the Citizenship Programme, one must purchase property in Malta. European companies are built into the sales chain of relevant goods: construction and finishing materials, equipment, furniture.

According to Alex Muscat, the EU is “blinded by prejudice” against citizenship programs for investment. Criticism does not take into account the positive impact of programs on the economy.

Low tax rates

In the same document, Alex Muscat responded to criticism of low tax rates in Malta. He said that the EU government is acting correctly when it introduces packages of measures to overcome the crisis after the pandemic. However, this should not occur at the expense of the member countries, which themselves regulate the taxes of citizens. Malta will defend its right to set tax rates.

Favorable tax rates in Malta have led to explosive growth in the online gaming industry. According to Alex Muscat, raising taxes now is “just like shooting yourself in the foot”.

Malta and the United Kingdom after Braxit

In a statement, Alex Muscat touched on Braxit. He noted that Great Britain has withdrawn from the EU, but has not yet come close to signing a trade agreement with Brussels. It is planned to sign it by December 31, 2020.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship noted that whether or not there was an agreement, Malta would maintain friendly relations with the United Kingdom.

Earlier, we said that Malta and the UK were seeking to minimize the impact of Braxit on citizens. Perhaps the Maltese will be the only ones in the EU who can live in the UK without a residence permit. The rest are planning to apply a common system based on points.

Relations between Malta and the EU

Malta takes into account the EU’s views on many issues. For example, it is undertaking judicial reforms based on EU recommendations. The country is open to proposals and cooperation, but not at the detriment of its own interests.

Earlier we said that Malta has reduced tax on property purchases. Investors can save several thousand euros by buying property for citizenship programs and residence permits.

Malta’s economy is already recovering from the pandemic. The consumer, IT and healthcare sectors are growing faster than others.

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