Source: Al-Monitor (Washington DC)
By Shahira Amin
Egypt is always looking for ways to improve the country’s long-suffering economy, but citizens are divided over whether the latest plan is an innovative idea or an indecent proposal.
Critics bemoan the legislation as “shameful” and say it compromises national security. Supporters welcome it as a means of wooing foreign investors.
On July 15, Egypt’s parliament approved a bill that, if ratified by the president, will allow foreign nationals to apply for citizenship — but it will cost them. Candidates for citizenship must deposit at least 7 million Egyptian pounds (about $391,000) in an Egyptian bank and leave it there for five years. Then, if the Ministry of Interior accepts an applicant’s naturalization request, the deposit will be transferred to the treasury, boosting the country’s foreign currency reserves.
Currently, foreigners must live in Egypt at least five years before they can apply for citizenship.