© AP Photo / Francisco Seco
A famous anecdote about a black band, ended up white, like no other suitable to describe the situation in which hit wealthy Russians who decided to leave unkind homeland for a more civilized and climate-friendly edges. Sad for them, news are coming with regularity, allowing it clear that the situation not only calms down, but on the contrary, it will spin up more and more every year.If earlier it was possible to speak about certain isolated cases, not on most, it is now clearly and consistently to build the system, hung by the strings of fate and all. And to be sure that your not cut once, nobody can.It came to investment immigrants, that is, those who moved for legalization through investment in the economy.Another surprise was Cyprus who started full scan “gold” passports. In relation to the 26 foreigners (among them nine Russians) the decision on deprivation of citizenship acquired in exchange for investment. Officials do not hide that this is only the first step and is expected to continue.
What is happening, of course, brings to mind the events of 2013, when in the midst of an acute financial crisis of power most popular at that time, the Russians have a quiet Harbor conducted a forced ten percent “haircut” of the stored deposits. According to the Agency Moody’s, in the banks Islands, only legal entities of Russia (excluding the private investors) kept in the period up to 19 billion euros.The lesson, incidentally, is salutary. According to a year ago, the amount of deposits of Russian clients has decreased dramatically and “is less than six percent of the total volume of deposits in Cypriot banks.” A specific amount was not disclosed but according to media reports, this is no more than three billion euros.Now came for the unscrupulous to obtain citizenship. In the first place the authorities say about crimes committed by suspects under the sanctions. However, essentially, it’s more complicated and we are talking about tightening check the origin of funds.Cyprus were on the mind because of the liberality of his recent approach to applicants for citizenship. Nicosia handed the passport is so easy and widespread that it caused discontent of Brussels, the result went the rollback. Malta and Greece also indicated for excessive liberalism in the matter of investment citizenship.Similar developments are taking place at the other end of Europe. Some time ago Latvia has sharply tightened requirements for the program term residence permits in exchange for investments, which in the 2010-2017 years, the country earned nearly 1.5 billion euros. Riga was very popular as another safe Harbor in certain Russian circles, but now they have to deal with the seamy side of the process.Recently drew the attention of another story — from the citizen, whose elderly mother in law with dementia, the Latvian authorities were obliged to pass examination in the Latvian language for obtaining a residence permit.
However, we must recognize that in Russia similar scandals much sympathy do not cause. More often indifferently shrug their shoulders — in the sense of “but you have been warned”.As for the old Europe, that there initially was stricter. However, this did not guarantee that the issues to investment immigrants will not arise. Suffice it to recall the Kingdom, lost in checking the purity of the source of funds from foreigners. The immigrants from Russia, of course, much more likely to fall victim to a violent search by the London agents of the Kremlin in its territory.Europe should pay tribute. In recent years, EU countries selling passports and residence permits, have earned tens of billions of euros on people who wanted to be a part of Europe and are willing literally to pay dearly for it. Similarly, there legalized tens of thousands, including many of our compatriots.Cream removed — it’s time to shut off the tap. Moreover, this scheme is truly elegant.One of the main reasons of departure from Russia is usually called the insecurity, the fears that everything can instantly go to pieces. Now you’re doing well, and tomorrow BAM! — revolution, war, expropriation, default, hyperinflation, dictatorship, nationalization, prison.And this applies not only super-rich people. Moderately wealthy citizens, and even just highly-paid professionals often think exactly the same logic. That is why Riga became the “London poor”. For people who emigrate to Britain — with the preservation of their traditional way and standard of living — not afford, Latvia was an acceptable alternative. Almost all the Western virtues, but many times cheaper. So even with the bonuses such as the prevalence of Russian language and minimal adaptation efforts.Current European policy has on this almost sacred sense of security (personal, social, financial), which was firmly associated in many people that with the West.Only nine Russians will lose their Cypriot passports — a mere trifle on the General background. That is the decision of the authorities of the island cuts the ground from under the feet of many thousands of people who understand that the next time can come for them. Perhaps this will not happen — not tomorrow, not five years from now, or never. And can, and will happen.And on this shaky basis and the feeling of extreme uncertainty about the future — which they are, in fact, have left their homeland — they have to build the rest of his life.Irina Alksnis