The 2007 naturalization program evolved into a very different program afterwards and had many negative effects for Cyprus, the former Minister of Finance (under the rule of Tassos Papadopoulos 2005-08) testified before the Investigative Committee yesterday and for two months in the government. Anastasiadis) Michalis Sarris.
For his part, the former Minister of Finance, Christofias (2008-11), acknowledged that there were omissions, such as the non-adoption of regulations for the granting of naturalizations, while answering some questions, “I do not remember.”
Mr Sarris said the naturalization program had some positive short-term effects, but the negatives outweighed the positives. He acknowledged, however, that while in 2013 the economy was in a very difficult situation, with national income declining by 10% “we took a big risk to focus growth on one sector (construction) with a significant contribution to the 2008 crisis” . He added that “the same or more powerful incentives could be given to other areas, such as innovation and technology” and that “over the years the nature of the project has changed completely, focusing on supporting the construction sector and causing all these problems. , which resulted in the discrediting of Cyprus abroad, the discouragement of genuine investors and the existence of urban planning problems, which we will find in front of us “.
Stavrakis: The naturalizations brought a foreign bank
At one point, referring to the checks that were done or should have been done, he said that “the amounts were large, the tithes were large”. When asked what he meant by decimals, Mr. Sarris said that “one can assume that some of these decisions were not made only by objective criteria, there is no evidence but we are certainly talking about situations where as a result we see that they may have closed their eyes where they had to be open. “
When he said that during his term of office, between August 2005 and March 2008, there was no approval of naturalizations by the Council of Ministers, the member of the committee, Kyriakos Kyriakou, reminded him that in 2007 there were five exceptional naturalization decisions, out of one involving an athlete (in April 2007) and another a Lebanese minor (in December 2007) and that in 2008 there were eight other naturalizations, without specifying whether they concerned investors.