The government has said that it will be amending the legal notice it issued that allowed the minister responsible for citizenship to withold the publication of names of people who would have been granted Maltese citizenship if he feels it is an extraordinary circumstance.
The legal notice had caused quite an uproar, however the government has now revoked the problematic clause.
“This clause was considered for extraordinary cases,” the government said, while adding that in light that this clause can be interpreted as creating certain doubts on the work done to improve transparency, the government will be removing it from the legal notice.”
“Our country was the only one that publishes the names of those who took citizenship, and now our country will also publish those who had their citizenship withdrawn.”
All the changes were proposed in the spirit of good governance, the government said.
Under the IIP scheme, which has since been stopped, the government used to publish a list of all individuals who obtained Maltese citizenship. The list, however, did not distinguish between those who bought a passport and those who obtained citizenship through other ways, such as marriage and naturalisation. Another point of contempt was that the list was arranged in alphabetical order but according to first, not last names.
The government had said the process would remain unchanged.
When the first version of the legal notice of the new scheme was published, it included a clause that said that the minister had absolute discretion on naming people who obtained citizenship “for security reasons.”
That clause has now been removed.