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Download the MaltaToday App now maltatoday YOUR FIRST READ AND FIRST CLICK OF THE DAY WWW.MALTATODAY.COM.MT SUNDAY • 3 NOVEMBER 2013 • ISSUE 730 • PUBLISHED EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SUNDAY UNIVERSITY DEAN, AG MAINTAIN CITIZENSHIP CANNOT BE REPEALED THE Opposition's political stand to repeal citizenships purchased under the Individual Investor Programme could be challenged in a court of law on grounds of discrimination, the dean of the University of Malta's faculty of laws Kevin Aquilina told MaltaToday. PN leader Simon Busuttil's declaration that a Nationalist government would repeal IIP passports has been challenged by Attorney General Peter Grech, who said the move would be unconstitutional, and faculty dean Kevin Aquilina who said naturalised citizens – even those who pay €650,000 under the 'golden passport' scheme – would enjoy rights equal to any Maltese citizen. The Opposition claims the IIP should be underwritten by a more tangible form of investment. On its part, the government claims it can reap as much as €30 million through the citizenship scheme. Citizenship can only be repealed under specific cases, such as acts of treason during wartime, or when a naturalised citizen commits a crime carry- University Dean Kevin Aquilina and Attorney General Peter Grech: repealing citizenship on the simple grounds that it was purchased, is discriminatory ing over 12 months' imprisonment in any country. But according to Kevin Aquilina, under the current law the purchase of citizenship itself under the IIP cannot be a criterion for withdrawal. "At the end of the day, the Citizenship Act is still a normal law that can also be amended in parliament. But repealing citizenship because it was purchased could give rise to discrimination, as well as diplomatic problems with other countries." Aquilina said any naturalised citizen whose IIP passport is repealed on such grounds could challenge the decision, apart from giving rise to diplomatic disputes with countries whose citizens applied for Maltese citizenship arguing that they were being treated as second-class citizens. "Once an individual is granted citizenship, he becomes equal to any other Maltese citizen just as much as if his parents were Maltese or if he married a Maltese woman," Aquilina said. Other serious complications could arise if naturalised citizens obtaining passports under the IIP would have had to renounce their original citizenship, in the case of countries that don't allow citizens to have dual or multiple citizenships. "If citizenship gets repealed, such individuals may end up stateless," he said, highlighting the pitfalls of such a political move. YOUR FREE COPY OF VIDA INSIDE 47 PGS 12-13 STEVE MICKLEWRIGHT INTERVIEWED November 2013 - Issue €1.20 An escape to paradise Gaela Brown An exclu The Essence of life sive interview with a rising star SEE FULL REPORT ON PAGES 8, 9 DAVIES: Air Malta's future, unions, and the East PAGES 6-7 THE controversial TEN-T Xemxija bypass may soon become a reality, as predicted by the traffic impact assessment for the Gemxija development, a project by Kuwaiti developers Al Massaleh and Maltese contractors JPM Brothers (better known as the Montebello brothers). The bypass project, co-funded by the EU, was shelved because of a clear conflict with sites of scientific and agricultural importance in Manikata and Mellieha. However, following this week's controversial approval of the Mistra Villa redevelopment, the Xemxija TEN-T road comprising the widening of the rural road at Ta' Pennellu, and the construction of a new tunnel from Xemxija to Mellieha could soon be resuscitated. The project's approval signals yet another defeat for the environmental lobby and also indicates the political muscle in planning decisions, with a number of stakeholders seemingly being swayed by the economic case. Construction developers JPM Brothers, who hold 42.4% of Gemxija Crown Limited, were donors for the political campaign of former finance minister Tonio Fenech: the same minister touted as having been asked to intervene in the difficult sale of one of their properties, the derelict Jerma Hotel in Marsaskala. Din l-Art Helwa president Simone Mizzi has said: "When these big developments are granted, there is always a political decision behind them that facilitates matters. There was one in 2009 and there was one now, otherwise glossing over the country's laws blatantly as they have done with Mistra would not be allowed," Mizzi said. SEE PAGES 10,11 'An election budget' expected tomorrow Excise duty for diesel and petrol will increase by 2c GOVERNMENT sources described tomorrow's budget as an 'election budget'. But they were tight-lipped about specific details of the budget. MaltaToday has discovered excise duty on petrol and diesel will increase by 2c from January of next year. This would effectively mean that the price of diesel would remain stable, whereas that of petrol would rise by 1c. MaltaToday confirmed that the price of petrol and diesel was 'fixed' after lengthy negotiations held by Enemalta with suppliers. Finance Edward Scicluna opened his office yesterday to the press. He is seen here finalising last minute corrections to the budget Tomorrow's budget will be presented by Finance Minister Edward Scicluna. Scicluna was better known as an 'independent' economist who was often seen regularly commenting on the annual budget on television. Tomorrow's budget is however scripted by the Prime minister Joseph Muscat, Deputy Prime Minister Louis Grech and the finance minister himself. Newspaper post Mistra development paves way for massive road works

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