Monday, February 3, 2014
Malta will sell you a Maltese passport for 1.15 million euros (approximately US$1.55 million). And with that, you're a European citizen and you get to travel, work, and enjoy other privileges in the 27 member states of the European Union. You also get visa-free travel in 69 non-European countries, including the United States. See Dan Bilefsky, Give Malta Your Tired and Huddled, and Rich, N.Y. Times, Feb. 1, 2014, at A4. The program may bring $1.35 billion to Malta over the next five years. Id.
European Union officials in Brussels are not happy about this development, and say that EU citizenship must not be for sale. Id. The ability to buy a passport also stands in marked contrast to the thousands of migrants from Africa who must live in grim detention centers without Maltese citizenship.