The Malta Independent 16 October 2018, Tuesday

PD blasts ‘IIP theatrics’; calls it a ‘cynical exercise being carried out by government’

Saturday, 20 January 2018, 17:10 Last update: about 10 months ago

The Partit Demokratiku considers government's launch of the recent IIP scheme public consultation as "a cynical exercise being carried out by government to try and obtain a semblance of legitimacy and popular mandate to the IIP launched in 2013."

Earlier this week, Identity Malta said that it will ask the public whether the number of applicants in a second round of the controversial Individual Investor Programme should be capped like the first one, or whether this should be left at the discretion of the government.

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"Taking a leaf from the Prime Minister's statement a couple of days ago, that a discussion on abortion will not take place as government does not have a mandate from the electorate, PD points out that Government did not have a mandate to issue this programme. So with the same reasoning it should not have been launched in the first place," a PD statement read.

"Given government's arbitrary decision to launch this programme, the best it could do was to adhere to a very strict due diligence process in the selection of individuals and their eligibility. Instead it has embarked on a very shady operation which seems only to be motivated by the need to create a revenue stream and nothing else."

"In its frenzy to generate money, it has now become obvious from the names that are coming out that no proper due process has been carried out, notwithstanding all promises. Government has not even been able to keep its commitment and legal obligation to issue the names of persons who were granted passports and has, for successive years, hidden their names in a very obscure list of all persons who gained citizenship by other more established means."

This consultation is merely a ploy to dupe the electorate into thinking that this government is listening to the people, the PD said. "The only institution that should be discussing these issues should be parliament."

The PD argued that "it is patently obvious that government wants the people's blessing to remove any capping and is even considering revising the conditions, especially the requirement of residency for 12 months which everyone knows is not being respected at all. A number of recipients have barely visited our country and hide behind fake addresses which Identity Malta did not even have the decency to investigate."

"How can the government expect the people to judge a scheme where the following has yet to be made clear: the amount of money actually earned from the scheme; accounting for all these funds and where they are kept; the specific and detailed plan on how the Maltese public is to benefit from these funds," the PD asked.

PD asked Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to stop playing games with the electorate. "The majority that has re-elected him to government , and the minority that does not support him, both deserve to be respected and these political shenanigans are an insult to everyone's intelligence especially those voters who are not blinded by political passion. Maybe one needs to remind the electorate about the historical irony of Prime Minister Muscat's ten year crusade against EU membership."

PD also awaits the PN's reaction, "which we hope will be a strong, timely one against these political games. PN had shown great opposition to the scheme and the way it was originally implemented, and our hope is that this is sustained even under the new leadership."

 


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