Germany Lifts All Quarantine Restrictions, Bulgaria Lifts’ Golden Passport ‘: Europe Market Info


Germany is ready to join other countries in lifting quarantine restrictions that have disrupted life in the region for two years.According to a proposal prepared by Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s office for a meeting with regional leaders on Wednesday, most COVID-19 restrictions in Germany will be lifted in three stages by March 20.Austria and Switzerland are planning similar measures, and the Netherlands announced late Tuesday that it would lift restrictions on the movement of people and businesses starting Friday.In Germany, restrictions that require people to be vaccinated or recovered before entering non-essential shops and on private gatherings will be lifted immediately as a first step, according to proposals from the chancellor’s office.The second step will take effect on March 4, when people who have been vaccinated, recovered or have positive negative test results will be allowed into restaurants and hotels, and major events can be attended by more people.In the third stage, “all protective measures can be ended as soon as the health system conditions permit.”Bulgaria has proposed a bill to ban the “golden passport” that previously granted citizenship to people who invest in the country.The European Commission has repeatedly criticised Bulgaria and excluded it from the EU’s Schengen travel zone.Bulgaria’s parliament voted Thursday to end the practice of granting citizenship to foreigners who invest as little as 1 million Lev ($581,300).Justice Minister Nadezhda Yordanova told parliament: “This is to eliminate the opportunity for those who do not have a lasting relationship with Bulgaria, who do not even live permanently in their own country, to quickly become Bulgarian citizens and in this way become citizens of the European Union.”More than 100 people, mostly from Russia, China and the Middle East, have been granted Bulgarian citizenship under the scheme since it was introduced in 2013.The European Commission has repeatedly warned that countries issuing golden passports expose the 27-member BLOC to money laundering and security risks, with Bulgaria, Cyprus and Malta being particularly problematic.Now watch the Edge Lab to keep up with the latest financial news from around the world.For more exciting content, come to the Edge Lab

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