Malta’s parliament approved a controversial bill on November 12 allowing people to buy Maltese citizenship, including a Maltese passport and access to the EU’s Schengen Area, for €650,000, writes the Times of Malta.

The amendments to the Maltese Citzenship Act were criticised by the opposition as “prostituting Malta for the paltry sum of €650,000,” added the daily, while street demonstrations were held outside Parliament in protest at the changes.

The bill will now be sent to the president’s office to be signed into law, writes Malta Today, adding –

The award of citizenship through the controversial scheme is expected to yield €30m for the public coffers, half of which will go directly in the Budget [...] and the remaining €15m invested in a national development fund – an injection that will enable the government to limit the extent of indirect taxation in the budget but exposed the government to criticism of devaluing Maltese citizenship.