Alternattiva Demokratika this morning called for a referendum to stop the sale of citizenship.

Chairman Arnold Cassola said: "We are calling upon civil society to unite against this law which can cause damage to Malta's reputation. The insistence of the government to protect the anonymity of these new Maltese citizens gives cause to great concern. We want full transparency and disclosure with regards to the identity of the persons benefiting from this scheme."

Deputy chairman Carmel Cacopardo said the scheme had already raised eyebrows abroad.

“Malta has slowly and painfully made a name for itself as a reputable financial centre. The implementation of this citizenship scheme, with all the secrecy surrounding it, could endanger this hard gained reputation, with the severe consequences that all this could bring for Malta's economy.”

AD, Mr Cacopardo said, considered that once government did not heed civil society’s criticism of this legislation it is now incumbent on civil society to take the lead and challenge Government’s arrogance by calling an abrogative referendum on the issue.

“It is time to stand up and be counted,” he said.

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