Albania Has Paused ‘Golden Passports’ Scheme, Rama Assures EU

The "golden passports" scheme promoted by Albania's government in recent years has been suspended, PM Edi Rama has told the vice president of EU Commission Josep Borrell and Olivér Várhelyi, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement.

"Regarding the golden passports, we have made it clear that we have suspended the process until the position is clarified at the European level. We did not invent this, we took it from EU countries that have implemented it successfully," Rama said in the press statement

"There is a case in the European Court, but we will not bring it to the table … without seeing how the case ends in the European Court. If the European Court decides against golden passports, this is a closed issue. If it decides in favour, each country will make its own choice," he added.

Rama declared that he will not give up on another controversial economical scheme, about a "fiscal amnesty".

The EU has expressed strong criticism of so-called golden passports, offering citrizenship in exchange for cash or investments.

This scheme is connected with one of the biggest and most controversial projects of the Albanian government, the Durres Port, where it was planned that passports would be given for free to the people who buy apartments in the area.

In September last year, the EU criticised Albania's plan to sell passports, urging the government to abandon the scheme or risk Albanian citizens' free movement in the EU.

"Foreign investors who buy directly from the property of the Strategic Investor in the Project will have the right to apply for citizenship and/or permanent residence of the Republic of Albania," one of the articles of the project agreement, revealed in November, said.

In August 2022,...

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