Cyprus to relax requirements for citizenship

CYPRUS is to relax citizenship rules for bank depositors who lost large amounts of money in the deal with the EU and IMF, in a bid to keep foreign investors interested in the island state.

Speaking at a Russian business conference at the port city of Limassol, President Nicos Anastasiades said his cabinet would this week approve measures to allow foreign investors who held deposits prior to 15 March and who lost at least €3m (£2.6m) would be eligible to apply for Cypriot citizenship.

Meanwhile Cyprus’s central bank governor Panicos Demetriades said yesterday he was willing to work with the government to pull the island out of its economic crisis, provided the bank’s independence was respected.

His comments in the Phileleftheros newspaper came as the country’s finance ministry lifted some of the capital controls in place to prevent a bank run.

Cyprus raised the amount of money individuals can transfer between banks domestically to €3,000 from €2,000 a month. Companies may now transfer €50,000 from €10,000. Other restrictions, such as a €300 per day withdrawal limit, remain in place.