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December 02
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The European Commission will file a lawsuit against Malta for its "golden passport" program, which allows wealthy foreigners to buy citizenship in exchange for an investment of about 1 million euros. Having a Maltese passport allows them to live and work in any EU country, Reuters reported.

Malta suspended the program for citizens of Russia and Belarus in recent months after the outbreak of war in Ukraine, but the program continues for all other nationalities, and the country has not expressed any intention of ending it, the Commission said.

Brussels believes the scheme violates EU law because citizenship is granted without any real obligation for the beneficiaries to live in the country.

The referral to the EU Court of Justice comes after years of wrangling with Malta over adjustments to the scheme.

Pressure from Brussels has led to the suspension or cancellation of golden passport schemes in other EU countries, with Cyprus and Bulgaria being the latest to stop their programs. Thus, Malta remains alone in the EU, although many other countries have visa programs.

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