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Greece Ponders Changes to Golden Visa Scheme

Photo: GTP

In an effort to safeguard the property market and curb overpricing and shady activity, the Greek government is examining a series of changes to its golden visa program.

According to local media reports, changes – to go into effect after the coronavirus pandemic subsides – include setting limits to property values and introducing incentives for property purchases outside Attica, aimed at reviving the real estate market nationwide.

The changes come after the European Commission said it would be launching legal action against Cyprus and Malta over their “golden passport” schemes because they granted nationality and instant EU citizenship without requiring “a genuine link with the country”.

“EU citizenship cannot be traded as a commodity, according to a majority of speakers, who want to end the ‘golden passports’ schemes currently in place in some member states,” said the Commission.

Under the new requirements being examined by the Greek Development and Investments Ministry, in addition to the investment sum, which will now change from the current 250,000 euros to a fluctuating minimum investment value depending on region, buyers will also have to provide a certificate of value for the property they plan to purchase.

According to data released in January, Greece’s investor visa program had channelled more than 2 billion euros of foreign capital into the local property market since its launch in 2014, granting in the meantime, 6,304 residence permits to non-Greeks.

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