Cyprus does not accept to be victimized due to investment activity, Spokesman says

The government of the Republic of Cyprus will not accept for Cyprus to become victimized due to the investment activity on the island, Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou has said.

In statements on Monday after a meeting held at the Presidential Palace, where President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades received European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, Jyrki Katainen, Prodromou referred to the issue of granting citizenship to third-country nationals, saying that the government will be in constant contact with the European Commission ‘in order to adopt the best international practices and to defend our countrys right to implement its own policies, without ever accepting that Cyprus will be victimized internationally because it has investment activity”.

Asked whether during the meeting they discussed about the granting of citizenships to third-country nationals, Prodromou said that during the discussion President Anastasiades had the opportunity to explain to the EU official that the Republic of Cyprus had recently revised the Investment Scheme with naturalization, thus further shielding the position of Cyprus.

Soon, he added, a provision, included in the new Investment Scheme will be implemented, to conduct a thorough international research, which, as it had been announced, will be entrusted to specialized firms to ensure that applications for naturalization do not lead to unpleasant consequences”.

He explained that this concerns expansion of due diligence, in order to have knowledge for international economic activities of applicants for the Investment Scheme.

The Government Spokesman said that during the meeting the President stressed that the expansion of this plan in a number of ways is being considered and that they will be announced at a later stage when decisions are taken.

“He assured that remarks and recommendations are taken into account, recalling that our country during the past years has – also through the program and voluntarily – adopted strict controls regarding the prevention of transactions that may involve illegal activities whether it is for money laundering or for tax evasion”.

Prodromou said that Cyprus follows and is -like all countries – under the MONEYVAL microscope following recommendations. Furthermore, he said that Cyprus has adopted both legislation and practices, adding that “recently, for example, a Central Bank of Cyprus activity has led to radical changes”.

In addition, the Spokesman said that the government of the Republic of Cyprus will be in constant contact with the European Commission in order to adopt the best international practices, but also to defend Cyprus’ right to implement its own policies, ‘without ever accepting that Cyprus will be victimized internationally because it has an investment activity”.

He noted that Katainen underlines that the EU is always open and investments are welcome, but there should be mutual information among the countries and attention to investments in strategic areas, such as telecommunications or security systems.

The Spokesman said that the EU Commission Vice-President has referred, also during a speech last night, to the challenges that Europe is faced with today, such as by some forces in some member states. It is well known, Prodromou said, that in some cases there is the temptation to pursue national policies over European policies.

He added that Katainen also referred to the difficulties in the relations with the US and international trade, while thirdly, the EU Commissioner referred to Russian activity as regards some political developments and elections and, fourthly, he mentioned the attention that member states should pay for investments that come from outside the EU.

The Spokesman said that during the meeting, Anastasiades and Katainen had the opportunity to discuss about the prospects for Europe in view of both the European elections and what we are expecting from the EU ahead of the challenges it faces today, such as Brexit, and the various priorities to the benefit of the citizens.

He also said that President Anastasiades briefed the EU official on the developments of the Cyprus issue and his forthcoming meeting with UNSG’s Special Envoy, Jane Hall Lute in order to o establish the terms of reference and resume the Cyprus negotiations.

In addition, the Cyprus President referred to Cyprus’ positions as regards a series of issues that the EU is faced with, such as immigration and refugee issues, climate change and the economy that must constantly respond to the creation of new jobs particularly in the sectors of research and innovation.

The EU Commissioner was also received by President of the House of Representatives Demetris Syllouris.

According to a press release by the Parliament, among the issues they discussed were artificial intelligence, digitization, circular economy, cooperation on security and defense, climate change, the EUs relations with Africa and blockchain.

Source: Cyprus News Agency