Hungary Promises Foreign Investors EU Citizenship

Debt-laden Hungary is hoping to help replenish its coffers by luring foreign investors with a promise of a European Union passport. A proposed law listed on the country's parliament's website would give permanent residency and, eventually, citizenship to foreigners who buy at least 250,000 euros of special government residency bonds. That offer is expected to attract Chinese investors in particular, and it would give them in return the chance to live and work throughout the E.U. "We can attract capital from the so-called Third World this way and also finance reducing state debt," one ruling party lawmaker told a Hungarian daily newspaper. The legislation is just one of Budapest's efforts to battle its billions of euros in mounting foreign currency debt, as the country waits for word from the E.U. and the IMF on its requests for a financing backstop.

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