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Letter from Athens: The Dirty Hands All Over Cyprus' Golden Visas

Αssociated Press

A demonstrator takes a mock copy of Cyprus passport during a demonstration against corruption outside of the conference center in the capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Attention criminals, money launderers, crooks, financiers of terrorism, oligarchs and anyone who wants no-questions-asked Cypriot residency permits – even citizenship! – and Eunuch Union passports, this is your last chance to buy in! 

Act now, act fast because on Nov. 1 Cyprus will (wink, wink) cease its Golden Visa program, which is even more valuable than a Golden Ticket to Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory. 

Here's what you get for a mere investment of at least $2.5 million – chicken feed to you guys! – into development and infrastructure projects, and we'll even guide you to the right ones operated by own friends adept at reverse financing. 

You give them money, they give us money, we meet at the bar of the resort you bought into, have some drinks, play golf, trade stories about who stole the most from his country to put into our country. And the EU does nothing! 

How great is that? 

Unfortunately, because of a few lapses, such as a couple of politicians forgetting to watch the movie The Sting, we have to temporarily end the program before later reopening it under another name when the heat dies down. 

All this because of snoopy reporters, first from Reuters who earlier this year sneakily found out we were giving visas not to Cypriots in the Diaspora but to rich Chinese, Russians and a lot of other people we refuse to name to protect their privacy. And we won’t tell you where they money they gave us went, about 8 billion euros ($9.37 billion.) 

That report – which we vehemently denied although it was accurate so then we had to revise our statement – said Cyprus' Golden Visa ‘scheme’ (the right word) was a secretive program vulnerable to money laundering and fraught with risk. 

How could it be risky if 3,000 rich people got permits and passports or citizenship (that's available on a fast-track for people who put a s—tload of money into investments) and only a few dozen criminals got them? 

True, we said no criminals got them but what's a couple of dozen here and there, not counting the Malaysian fugitive who greased the skids and touched so many palms he had to buy out the country's whole supply of hand sanitizer. 

Because of that report, we had to yank passports from 29 people but still wouldn't let Cypriots know who they are because this is, after all, a secretive program as our President, Mr. Nicos “Show Me The Money” Anastasiades likes it that way, the same way failed reunification talks with Turkish-Cypriots were held. 

First of all, it wasn't his fault that his law firm, which provides legal services to applicants, didn't know some of them were criminals because he recused himself from its work while he was President so he could do your work. Well, not your work but working to help rich people, many of whom are Cypriots. 

He left the firm safely in the hands of his daughters and family and despite what Reuters wrote – and now, alas the journalistic heathens of Al Jazeera who found the program was more rotten than the Belarusian elections – are piling on with a sneaky secret video showing the Speaker of the Parliament and a Member of Parliament offering to arrange visas for a purported Chinese applicant who said he had a criminal record. What a ruse. 

This has exasperated us, fellow Cypriots, at a stressful time in our country, beset by COVID-19, our President trying to bring to justice as he promised the bankers he knows who brought the country to near-ruin in 2013 with bad loans to Greek businesses and big holdings in devalued Greek bonds. 

You remember that? So now he needs your support so that at some point the program can begin again and his law firm – he doesn't even speak to his daughters about what they're doing! – can help our country bring in even more money, none of which you'll see but just trust us on that one. 

He is a real family man, helping his son-in-law find worthwhile properties for the rich foreign investors to put their money into although we can't reveal any fees paid to the Anastasiades law firm or him due to privacy concerns and hopes there aren't any reporters trying to find out. 

This is another reason why journalism should be outlawed in favor of only drooling, pro-government propagandists typing in their underwear in their mother's basement. 

Our Attorney-General is trying to determine if the politicians caught in the video committed any crimes, even though they happily said they would help someone thought to be a criminal get a visa, his conviction no problem. 

They said they are the ones who set up the sting to catch the Al Jazeera undercover operatives so it could be reported to anti-money laundering authorities. They just didn't have time to tell the cops what they were doing. 

Check out our La Vida Golden Visas site now with details and pretty pictures of properties beginning at only 850,000 euros! 

That's less than $1 million but if you want to spend $20 million we'll arrange a photo with President Anastasiades and throw in a whole case of fresh Halloumi. 

It will be easy to fry because he told reporters not to ask him questions about Al Jazeera “or they will go hell.” Where he's waiting for them.