RIGA - Saeima Deputy Ainars Slesers (For a Good Latvia) has come up with another of his typically goofball ideas, that of offering citizenship to foreigners who “donate” 1 million euros to the Latvian state. Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (Unity), pointing out that this idea is “very typical of Slesers,” and thus “not much of a surprise,” rejects Slesers’ proposal to sell Latvian citizenship, saying that such a solution would completely degrade the idea and purpose of the institution of citizenship in Latvia, reports news agency LETA.
Latvian citizenship cannot be sold, because loyalty towards one’s country cannot be bought, added President Valdis Zatlers on his Twitter site. The State Chancery said that the president’s point of view on this issue is “unequivocal.”
In Slesers’ elementary-level mathematical demonstration, he says that “up to 10,000 families could receive Latvian citizenship this way, whereas the state budget would [then] receive 10 billion euros, and Latvia would be able to repay the international loan.” He adds that only wealthy foreigners would be permitted to apply for citizenship, those who live on a legal income and allow Latvian authorities to check all their personal data – presumably for such things as criminal backgrounds, or how buying citizenship would guarantee loyalty to Latvia.
Slesers says that this is a “realistic proposal because those who receive Latvian citizenship would automatically become citizens of the European Union.” Besides, Latvia is a beautiful, safe and under-populated country. This, however, doesn’t address the question of whether those who gain a Latvian passport in this way would continue to reside in Latvia, or move on to another EU member state.