European Commissioner Viviane Reding issued a stern warning to the Maltese government that the controversial citizenship scheme clashed both with European Treaties as well as with international law.

Commenting with the Maltese press in Strasbourg ahead of the afternoon plenary session which would be debating the resolution tabled yesterday, Commissioner Reding expressed herself "shocked" that EU citizenship "was being linked to the wallet".

While acknowledging that member states had the right to decide on issues dealing with the national citizenship, she pointed out that as an EU member state Malta was also legally bound to consult with other countries as such a decision would also have repercussions on them.

Replying to questions by, the EU Commissioner said that she was not consulted by the Maltese government prior to its decision to announce the scheme. Ms Reding said that if the government would forge ahead with its plans there could be negative consequences but did not elaborate further.

She reiterated that international law clearly says that citizenship must be linked with residency, and so the Maltese scheme was in breach of this principle. Ms Reding also remarked that Malta had also failed to consult other member states, as it was obliged to do by the European treaties.


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