Everybody knows the answer, right? It was because of the huge political scandal in Cyprus, that marked the end of the Cypriot CIP. But the scandal was only the last drop, the last bullet that killed the golden goose. The real cause for the demise of the famous Cypriot Golden Passport is hidden much earlier in time.
Yes, Cyprus made millions from Chinese and Russian investors, willing to become EU citizens. But Cyprus didn’t know when to stop. Or to at least slow down. Although it had the bitter experience after the deposits haircut from 2012-2013, Cyprus didn’t play its cards wisely. The authorities failed to comprehend that such a small island simply shouldn’t grant as many investment citizenships, as it did.
Ironically, the famous Greek legend of Icarus originates from Crete, an island so close to Cyprus. But the Cypriots didn’t listen to their ancestors. What the Cypriot authorities did was to put all their eggs in one basket – citizenship by investment.
Almost everybody on the island was involved in this business, one way or another. From the ordinary blue-collar construction workers to influential politicians. It is estimated that the island earned about 9 billion Euro from 2013 to 2019. Nothing wrong with that of course, but it was just too much for the tiny island to swallow.
So the logical end came in November 2020. The last drop, as we wrote above, was the political scandal. But the European Commission was already threatening Cyprus (and Malta) with serious legal actions. So the death sentence was in fact issued much before the scandal broke out.
The legend of Icarus
Icarus’s father Daedalus, a very talented and remarkable Athenian craftsman, built the Labyrinth for King Minos of Crete near his palace at Knossos to imprison the Minotaur, a half-man, half-bull monster born of his wife and the Cretan bull. Minos imprisoned Daedalus himself in the labyrinth because he gave Minos’s daughter, Ariadne, a ball of string in order to help Theseus, the enemy of Minos, to survive the Labyrinth and defeat the Minotaur.
Daedalus fashioned two pairs of wings out of wax and feathers for himself and his son. Daedalus tried his wings first, but before trying to escape the island, he warned his son not to fly too close to the sun, nor too close to the sea, but to follow his path of flight. Overcome by the giddiness that flying lent him, Icarus soared into the sky, but in the process, he came too close to the sun, which due to the heat melted the wax. Icarus kept flapping his wings but soon realized that he had no feathers left and that he was only flapping his featherless arms, and so Icarus fell into the sea and drowned.The legend of Icarus
So what does all that have to do with Bulgaria?
Bulgaria played its cards much wiser than Cyprus did. In the past 5-7 years, there were only three EU players on the Golden Passport market: Cyprus, Malta and Bulgaria. Indeed, Cyprus and Malta cashed huge profits, but their greed was also their death sentence. Both Cyprus and Malta are tiny island countries with less than a million population each. And the rate at which their Golden Passport programs were marketed was alarming.
Bulgaria in contrast, with much larger population and territory, was much more passive with its marketing efforts. In fact, Bulgaria didn’t, and still doesn’t market its citizenship by investment program. The authorities do not sponsor events and seminars and they don’t pay our travel to visit clients at the other end of the world. There have been times when we felt discriminated to our colleagues from Malta and Cyprus. They had strong financial backing of their governments, while we were on our own. But now, the cards are turned upside down.
The Bulgarian CIP is now revamped and bulletproof, while Cyprus is not on the CIP map anymore
That’s it guys. Now there is only Bulgaria to go to if you want to get hold of EU Golden Passport. If you fancy EU citizenship, you have no other choice as from 2021.
And logically, the amount of application and the interest for the new Bulgarian CIP has already skyrocketed. We can only hope that the Bulgarian authorities will keep their neutral stance and will not repeat the mistake that Cyprus and Malta did. Because if the increased interest triggers more aggressive marketing on state level, you may soon be left with the only option to get citizenship of non-EU countries, such as Turkey or Montenegro. Not a good choice obviously.