Making it safer and clear

Making it safer and clear

In future the names of legal and auditing companies that arrange citizenship for foreign investors will be made known to the interior committee.

However, MP Pavlos Mylonas has added a further request that the committee should make it clear if anyone involved in politics owns such companies.

The subject of granting citizenships was brought up by Greens MP Giorgos Perdikis, who said that more than 1,600 people have been naturalized since 2011 under the plan to attract investors, but that there is a lack of transparency.

“From January to date alone, there have been 36 naturalizations, from different countries”, Perdikis said, expressing concern that the plans are not approved by parliament, information is not shared with MPs, some of the documents are not filed with the House, while at the same time the public is only informed about certain statistics.

“The bill we have submitted aims to fully inform the House, but also to make public what is permitted. We believe that transparency is the best tool to credit the democratic legitimacy of an administrative practice,” he said.

Perdikis added that information about people who have been granted citizenship will be discussed at the next meeting, which the commissioner for personal data will attend as some elements regarding the investors’ names may be confidential.

“The intention of the committee is to discuss and conclude the debate, given that Cyprus has been accused of trading in naturalization. We must, therefore, take effective steps to fortify and protect this instrument of attracting investment, shielding democracy with transparent procedures,” he said.

Cyprus has in the past been accused of dodgy deals regarding citizenships. Last September an article in the Guardian newspaper slammed the Cypriot government for granting citizenship to billionaire Russian oligarchs and members of the Ukrainian elite. It referred to the scheme as ‘golden visas’.

The finance ministry and the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency have dismissed claims that Cypriot passports are for sale and said the programed is simply an investment scheme.

Officials have also pointed out that the level of investment required to acquire citizenship is far higher than other European countries offering similar schemes. In Malta, €350,000 must be spent on a residence, and it need only be held for five years. In Cyprus, at least €500,000 of an applicant’s overall investment must be spent on a permanent residence.

 

House prices up

House prices up 0.4% in Q3, CBC says

ON FEBRUARY 13, 2018 ECONOMYFEATURED

By Stelios Orphanides  Cyprus Business Mail

House prices continued their quarterly recovery for the fifth consecutive quarter in July to September and rose by 0.4 per cent compared with April to June, the Central Bank of Cyprus said.

Compared with the third quarter of 2016, house prices rose in July to September by 1.4 per cent, the central bank said in a statement on its website on Tuesday. The increase was mainly on a 3.7 per cent annual increase of flat prices against a 0.7 per cent rise in house prices.

“Annual increases were recorded in the majority of the main and secondary indicators, and the highest were recorded in the Nicosia and Limassol districts,” the central bank said.

House and flat prices rose in the third quarter by a quarterly 0.3 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively, the bank supervisor said. House prices recovered for a third consecutive quarter while those for apartments rose for the fifth quarter in a row.

The residential property price index recovered to 74.3, the highest since the second quarter of 2015. Home prices peaked in the third quarter of 2008 and fell to 73.2 in the second quarter of 2016, the lowest point since its introduction 12 years ago.

“The real estate sector’s prospects are favourable,” the central bank said. “Building permits and demand for housing loans are recording an increase while construction activity continues to recover. However, non-performing loans remain a challenge and an important obstacle towards full recovery while the impact of the imposition of value added tax (VAT) on plots is still undetermined”.

“Still, expected growth in the economy in general is believed to support the sector,” it added.

Compared with April to June, house prices rose in the second quarter in all districts except Paphos where they dropped by 0.8 per cent, the bank supervisor said. Home prices rose by 0.4 per cent in Nicosia, 0.6 per cent in Limassol, 1 per cent in Larnaca and 1.1 per cent in Famagusta.

Compared with the third quarter of 2016, home prices rose in July to September by 2.6 per cent in Limassol, 1.3 per cent in Nicosia and 1.6 per cent in Famagusta, the central bank said. They fell in Larnaca and Paphos by 0.7 per cent and 0.8 per cent, respectively.

Capital of Culture 2017

After the successful Capital of Culture 2017 year. Maispa Developers was presented with an honorary plaque for our support and sponsorship.NEW-LOGO-FINAL-1140x1177

Paphos has now officially handed the title of the European Capital of Culture to the next European Capitals of Culture, Valletta & Leeuwarden (Netherlands)

We wish them well and hope that they can achieve the level of excellence we achieved in Paphos.

Capital of Culture Capital of Culture