Cyprus will offer citizenship to foreign investors
who stand to lose significant sums due to the country's financial
crisis as a form of "reimbursement," officials said Monday.
President Nicos Anastasiades first mooted the idea Sunday in a speech to Russian companies, saying that foreign investors who stand to lose at least 3 million euros (3.9 million dollars) would be eligible for the offer.
Government sources told dpa on Monday that the offer will also be extended to all foreign investors who own or plan to buy property on the island, provided it is valued at 15 million euros at least.
Depositors with the two largest banks face a levy on holdings of more than 100,000 euros, under bailout conditions agreed with the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.
According to some forecasts, the deposit holders could face losses of up to 60 per cent of their holdings. Final figures will not be known until September.
In exchange for the restructuring, Cyprus is set to receive a 10-billion-euro bailout.
Cypriot officials hope the offer of citizenship will be seen favourably by non-EU investors hoping to gain easier access to the bloc. Many Russians hold accounts in Cyprus.
Approval for the citizenship deal is expected to be finalized Tuesday at a meeting of the Cypriot council of ministers.
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