Welcome mat for Thaksin being pulled in Montenegro

It was just a simple matter of time for Thaksin before his true nature became general public knowledge. For Thaksin and his desire to take the high profile road has left him being bigger than the mask he is trying to hide behind.

With a chain of events from Thaksin’s past mixing with a set of goals Montenegro has for its future, there is a definite huge negative effect Thaksin is having on that small country. The news article below implies the first of an apparent two step process. Step one put up a screen door. Step two take a closer look at what already got in.

Quoting the Canadian Press August 10, 2010

Montenegro: Citizenship for businessmen who invest more than €500,000 in tiny Adriatic country

Montenegro will offer its citizenship to wealthy businessmen who invest more than €500,000 ($662,650) in the tiny Adriatic country, the government said Tuesday.

The so-called “economic citizenship program” is designed to attract leading world businessmen into moving their companies to Montenegro, small Balkan country of just over 600,000 people, said a government statement posted on the official website.

As Montenegrin citizens, international businessmen would enjoy benefits such as lower taxes and costs for their companies.

Montenegro is the first country in the region to introduce such a program, and thus hopes to lure more investors than other Balkan nations, the statement said. The move underscores Montenegro’s openness to foreign investment, it added.

Tiny Montenegro became independent in 2006 after splitting from Serbia, and is now seeking membership in the European Union. Montenegro saw a major surge in foreign investment — mostly from Russia — immediately after the independence, but this has recently slowed down due to global economic crisis.

Montenegro already has granted citizenship to former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who fled corruption charges at home and who has promised to invest in Montenegrin tourism. The government has argued that there has been no international arrest warrant for Thaksin.

Apparently seeking to avert fears of possible abuse, the government said that only businessmen with “indisputable and credible biography and financial means” can apply. It said that “all applicants will be checked according to most strict international standards” and in consultation with international advisers.

The government said part of the €500,000 investment would be paid in the state budget.

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