Movement for Rights and Freedoms will Introduce Law to Abolish "Golden Passports"
After the holidays, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) parliamentary group will submit a bill to completely eliminate the so-called gold passports that foreign citizens receive for investments in Bulgaria. The petitioners will be DPS leader Mustafa Karadayi, US-sanctioned per the Magnitsky Act for corruption and bribery for receiving Bulgarian documents from foreign lawmakers and businessman Delyan Peevski, DPS Deputy Chairman Yordan Tsonev and MP Hamid Hamid.
The last cabinet of Boyko Borissov also tried to eliminate the possibility of citizenship after investment, or the so-called “gold passports”. In February this year The 44th Parliament, at the initiative of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms and with the support of GERB, adopted changes, which still left such an opportunity. According to the law, foreigners can obtain Bulgarian citizenship if they have contributed to the capital of a Bulgarian company at least BGN 1 million for a priority investment project implemented by the company or have increased this investment to BGN 2 million. Rumen Radev's second cabinet demanded the abolition of the possibility of obtaining Bulgarian citizenship through investments.
The initiative of the DPS deputies in the 47th parliament was announced today by Yordan Tsonev and Hamid Hamid in the absence of Delyan Peevski. The first explained that the DPS's proposal to ban investment citizenship was "to be in unison with our American partners." He cited a report from the European Commission's visa waiver negotiations for the United States, which cited the issuance and fraud with gold passports and the corruption of municipal and civil servants as obstacles to doing so for Bulgaria, Romania and Cyprus.
"And because our colleague Delyan Peevski was unfairly involved in such allegations that he participated in schemes for issuing such passports. We categorically denied and with facts, and evidence from the state institutions themselves that there is no such data for his participation. We will request documentation for each gold passport, on what grounds it was issued and whether the investment was realized. We will find interesting things there," said Hamid Hamid.
On June 2 this year The United States has sanctioned Delyan Peevski under the Magnitsky Act for corruption. The statement said that a person involved in Peevski's corrupt activities was Ilko Zhelyazkov, who was then deputy chairman of the National Bureau for the Control of Special Intelligence Means. "Peevski used Zhelyazkov to implement a bribery scheme affecting Bulgarian residence documents for foreign nationals, as well as to bribe civil servants through various means in exchange for information and loyalty on their part," we some of the motives per the Magnitsky Act
DPS MPs also said that the bill aims to anticipate Brussels' initiative to ban investment citizenship from 2025. According to the movement, investments for European citizenship are 20 billion euros, most of them in Spain, Portugal and Greece.
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