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Economy

Greece Reaches Out to the Super-Rich with Tax Breaks for Investors

February 12, 2021

ΑΤΗΕΝS – Hoping to kick start an economy brought to its heels by the COVID-19 pandemic that has closed non-essential businesses again, Greece is set to offer the uber-rich incentives to bring family offices catering to them.

That’s part of a plan to get them to Greece along with other similar schemes, this one too including tax breaks, said the news agency Reuters, wanting to make the country an attractive investment destination.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ business-friendly New Democracy government was accelerating a slow economic recovery after a near decade-long crisis worsened by austerity when the pandemic hit in 2020.

He had already announced steps including special tax breaks to attract foreign investors and lure highly qualified Greek expatriates back home.

The latest move would allow family offices to deduct staff costs and operating expenses from tax, targeting both Greece’s own business dynasties and rich non-Greek families, a senior official not named told the news agency.

“Our target now is to attract very rich foreigners and also Greeks who have their money abroad, in Switzerland for example, and also investors,” the official told Reuters, without giving any details.

New Democracy has been reaching out to the ultra-wealthy and businesses who shied away when the former ruling anti-business Radical Left SYRIZA was in power for 4 ½ years, quashing major projects, driving off investors.

Family offices offering dedicated services to ultra-rich clients including investment, charitable giving, tax and wealth transfer boomed after the 2008 global financial crisis, the super-rich getting super-richer even during COVID-19.

While Greece is unlikely to challenge established centers such as Switzerland, attracting “sophisticated wealthy families” could help change perceptions about the country, a second official said.

“It is part of the government’s strategy to extend, redefine and upscale its tourism product,” the official said.

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