Government is weighing its options and exploring what closing off Malta’s controversial citizenship-by-investment scheme, against a backdrop of mounting international pressure to ditch the passport scheme, according to a local media report.
The Times of Malta cites senior Government sources, including cabinet ministers, that Prime Minister Robert Abela is mulling over whether he should end the programme.
Dr Abela is reportedly being given various options of what ending the scheme would look like, such as a hard cut-off date or changing up the programme for a second time.
The original version of the scheme was introduced by former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and is said to have generated over €800 million for Malta between 2014 and 2020. The Labour Party often point towards the sales generated by the scheme as providing enough in Malta’s war chest to see through the pandemic.
With lower interest in Malta by potential passport buyers, therefore generating less revenue, and international pressure especially from the EU mounting to scrap the scheme, Dr Abela appears to be weighing his options for the next steps.
It remains unclear whether insurance companies would benefit from additional certainty or balk at increased payouts
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