TRNC News Today 16th December 2013
MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS ÖZDİL NAMİ MET WITH TURKISH FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER AHMET DAVUTOĞLU
The Minister of Foreign Affairs – Mr. Özdil Nami met with the Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister – Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu on 14th December 2013. In his statement during the meeting, Nami said: ‘It is a big honour to welcome you in our Ministry. There is a very close and deep relationship which goes a long way back between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey and the TRNC Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Turkey has always supported the Turkish Cypriots for all their efforts. If, today, the voice of the Turkish Cypriots is heard around the world, it is due to the great support and essential role of the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Turkey. We have taken further steps in the European Union, Parliamentarian Assembly of the Council of Europe, Organization of Islamic Co-operation and Organization of Economic Development with the support of Turkey. Regarding the Cyprus issue, we have been in very close mutual consultation with you and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Turkey that will always continue. I would like to thank you sincerely’.
In his speech, Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoğlu said that his visit was a return visit for Nami’s Ankara visit.
‘First, I want to present my congratulations for the TRNC gaining ‘Observer Status’ in the Organization of Economic Co-operation. As long as international recognition increases, I am sure the world will also be ready to give the Turkish Cypriots the necessary contribution and recognition they deserve. We have great pleasure for the TRNC gaining ‘Observer Status’ in Organization of Economic Co-operation. Both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Turkish Republic and the TRNC Ministry of Foreign Affairs always worked in co-operation until today. We will continue our efforts and being in co-operation. No people can be exposed to any treatment except their will. The Turkish Cypriot people passed through a difficult phase and put forth their strong political will. The TRNC Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the external reflection of this political will’ added Davutoğlu.
Moreover, Davutoğlu added: ‘International recognition of the Turkish Cypriot people is increasing from day to day through 21 representatives opened up to today. I hope, we will put our signatures under important successes in the following period’.
During the meeting, Foreign Ministers presented their gifts to each other.
FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER ÖZDİL NAMİ STRESSED THAT A JOINT STATEMENT SHOULD BE FINALIZED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
Foreign Affairs Minister – Özdil Nami has made an evaluation regarding the messages given by the Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and the joint statement. Telling that the joint statement is coming out very soon, Nami stressed that the Greek Cypriot side should also display a constructive attitude and the joint statement should be finalized as soon as possible.
Expressing that Davutoglu supported the continuation of the negotiation process Nami said: “Support of Turkey makes us very strong at the table of negotiation”.
Indicating that very important convergences have been achieved at the negotiations up to today, Nami recorded that if the other untouched issues were to be focused after today it would be possible to prepare a new comprehensive solution plan even in months not in years. Nami also stressed that this plan would be the solution plan of Cypriots not a plan imposed by outsiders.
DAVUTOĞLU: “We have put forward that the Turkish side wants peace however the Greek Cypriot side opposes peace”
Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister – Ahmet Davutoğlu informed the General Assembly of the Turkish Grand National Assembly yesterday. Touching upon the Cyprus issue at the beginning of his speech, Davutoğlu said “the sides which are active and which force the Greek Cypriot side to sit at the negotiation table are the Republic of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. In the last ten years, especially in 2004, we put forward with an active diplomacy in Burgenstock and at the following referendum that the Turkish side wants peace however the Greek Side opposes peace. In the last ten years it has been the Turkish Side which constantly has been trying to bring the other side to the negotiation table. Thus, they behaved with this understanding in the negotiations held between the years of 2008 and 2012; both Mr Talat and Mr Eroğlu continued the negotiations actively. Some expectations have been formed after the election of Mr. Anastasiades, however these expectations have not been met in the recent year, and in the last one, as you know, intensive negotiations have been continuing for two months within the framework of the joint statement”.
THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HOLD PROTEST DEMONSTRATION AGAINST TROIKA IN SOUTH CYPRUS
Thousands of demonstrators, who are members 17 unions and non-governmental organizations, gathered in front of the Leadership Palace in South Cyprus for protesting the austerity policy envisaged in the memorandum and demanded to give up the memorandum which was agreed with Troika.
Greek Cypriot daily Fileleftheros newspaper stated that the demonstrators gathered and shouted slogans against the memorandum and Troika.
‘PASSPORT FOR SALE’ PLAN RAISES CONCERN AMONG EU MEMBERS
Maltese plans to start selling EU passports for €650,000 have sparked security concerns among member states, and raised questions in the UK about how its more modest investor visa scheme will compete.
But the small Mediterranean country is not the first to broach the idea – there has been a flurry of investor programmes as crisis-hit EU nations have battled to attract wealthy foreigners.
In the past two years, several southern European nations including Cyprus, Greece and Portugal have introduced programmes that aim to attract investment in the ailing property and construction sectors. Chinese and Russian investors make up the majority of those who have obtained residence permits this way.
Portugal’s “Golden Residence” programme, set up in October 2012, has been particularly attractive. It has generated €203m so far. Most permits have been awarded to Chinese, but Russians, Brazilians and Angolans – with whom Portugal has historic economic ties – have also invested.
Perhaps the closest comparison with Malta’s plan – which awards buyers an EU passport as soon as their application has been approved – can be found in Cyprus, which operates a direct citizenship-by-investment scheme.
Introduced this year, it allows those who invest at least €5m in properties or businesses in Cyprus or have €5m in bank deposits to apply for citizenship. It includes a provision that applicants must have a house in the country worth at least €500,000. The Cypriot scheme is also open to investors whose Cypriot bank deposits have incurred impairments of at least €3m due to measures taken in response to the financial crisis.
By comparison, the UK’s scheme is far more stringent – even those investing the maximum of £10m must wait two years before they can apply for permanent residence. Furthermore, investors must spend no more than 180 days out of the country each year if they are to qualify.
Jurga McCluskey, partner and head of private clients at PwC Legal, said that the Malta scheme had generated significant interest due to its “generous terms”. But she warned that in the past, economic citizenship schemes had “troubled histories and uncertain futures” – and states such as the US with concerns about the plans might retaliate by imposing new visa restrictions on Maltese nationals.
This was the fate of a scheme set up in the late 1990s by the Caribbean island of Grenada. It eventually closed, after Canada dropped its visa waiver for Grenadian nationals, and the island was beset by criticism that it was effectively allowing criminals to set up new identities for a price.
The Malta programme hopes to avoid these pitfalls by promising rigorous due diligence on applicants, to be carried out by Henley & Partners, a consultancy. Eric Major, the company’s chief executive, admits that economic citizenship schemes “have a tendency to self-implode” because they are “not set up properly or because the hands of government are too close”.
But he said that critics of the scheme who had analyzed the application process were satisfied. “Once they see this, they say: you guys have wrapped your heads around this properly,” Mr Major told the FT.
If the Maltese scheme goes ahead as envisaged, it will be highly competitive. But Ms McCluskey said that the benefits of investing in Britain meant that its own investor route was safe. “The stability of the UK investor programme means it is still a more attractive option for those who want to live in the UK,” she said.
This is borne out by research by law firm Mishcon de Reya, who surveyed investor clients living in the UK.
It found that the top of the list of attractions of the UK was the rule of law, followed by the security of assets, with schooling opportunities coming third. Given this list of priorities, it may be that southern European nations find themselves struggling to compete.
European citizenship …. any offers?
The “Golden Residence” program requires investors to buy a property worth at least €500,000 or transfer at least €1m in capital to Portugal. In return investors can obtain a residence permit, which can be made permanent after five years. Citizenship can be acquired after six years.
A year since its introduction, 327 “Golden Residence” permits have been granted, while an additional 398 resident permits were given to families of those investors.
Provides residence permits for owners of real estate worth more than €250,000. Greece also allows strategic investors – those investing at least €100m – to obtain ten-year residence permits for up to ten additional people.
The real estate investor program has had about 300 enquiries since its introduction in April 2013. So far 15 permits have been granted.
An individual investor program, open for applications in January 2014, grants citizenship to those who make a €650,000 contribution to the National Development Fund. Additional costs apply for family members, due diligence and legal fees.
None issued so far, but 200-300 citizenships are expected to be granted per year.
Buyers of property worth more than €300,000 can obtain fast track residence permits. Investors with direct investments of €5m in real estate or business or €5m in bank deposits can obtain citizenship directly. The citizenship-by-investment scheme is also open to investors whose deposits have incurred impairments of at least €3m due to the financial crisis. Applicants also have to own a permanent residence worth at least €500,000.
Since its introduction earlier in the year, 25 citizenships have been granted under the citizenship program, while 691 residence permits were given to investors as part of the property program.
(6.12.2013 Financial Times by Helen Warrell and Cynthia O’Murchu)
Source: TRNC Public Information Office