Cyprus toughens vetting for investment-for-passport scheme
In the wake of criticism that it was operating a "passports-for-cash" scheme, Cyprus has toughened up vetting procedures for those investors looking to get their hands on a European Union passport.
Harris Georgiades, finance minister on the small east Mediterranean island nation, said Tuesday that the new procedures will be "stricter and more credible" and that the number of passports granted under the scheme will be capped at 700 a year.
He said that on top of the scrutiny Cypriot authorities currently put applications through, foreign agencies will also carry out "exhaustive checks" to ensure the suitability of any applicant.
Georgiades conceded that there may have been "weaknesses" to procedures under the previous rules.
But he rejected suggestions the Cypriot government was running a 'passports-for-cash" scheme.
"We reject the notion that the...