x

Economy

Greece’s Golden Visa Applications Grow Even During Pandemic

November 14, 2021

ATHENS – Even as the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened, rich foreigners who want Greek residency permits and valued European Union passports are returning, the number of applications picking up fast.

The Migration Policy Ministry said there were 193 requests in October while there were only 554 in the first nine months of 2021, the acceleration curiously coming as cases hit record numbers but the New Democracy government rejecting lockdowns.

During the raging pandemic year of 2020, Greece issued 938 residence permits through the so-called Golden Visa scheme, said Kathimerini, which requires investors to buy property worth at least 250,000 euros ($286,284) to be eligible.

Most of the permits have been scooped up by wealthy Chinese and Russians and foreigners with no connection to Greece as the European Union said it plans to add a tax on Golden Visas and said some programs are open to criminal activity and money laundering.

With a near-halt in international air travel in 2020 and only a gradual return this year, picking up in the summer when Greece welcomed tourists, it was difficult for people to get to Greece for holidays or buy property.

There was a 73.4 percent drop in applications in Greece in 2020 compared to the record-busting year of 2019 as the government opened the country to anyone with cash willing to plunk it down for property to be able to get a visa.

There were 3,535 permits in 2019, the paper said, bringing in more than 1.45 billion euros ($1.66 billion) and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has been courting investors and businesses to accelerate an economic recovery. That fell to 875 million euros ($1.002 billion) in 2020.

Since the start of the incentives scheme Greece has given 9,322 residence permits to investors and a total of 27,944 permits when their family members are included too.

The overall investment in the Greek property market through this program is estimated at 2.33 billion ($2.67 billion, although the total amount invested in the purchase of Greek property assets by foreigners is seen as far higher, possibly more than 3 billion euros ($3.44 billion) the report added.

That takes into account that many investors spend far more than the minimum needed to be eligible as Greece has become a hot spot not just for tourists but for acquiring properties and second or vacation homes.

A similar program on Cyprus was scuttled after investigations and media reports showed it was being used by criminals for money laundering and to hide their assets, which the government denied before admitting it happened.

RELATED

TRIPOLIS - Over 200 projects are included in the Comprehensive Development Plan for the Region of the Peloponnese for 2030, totalling 5.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Mission…To Tunisia Part 2 – A TNH Documentary by Clelia Charissis (Video)

The coveted exotic beauty of Tunisia is revealed by the 2nd episode of our Mission…To Tunisia – A TNH Documentary.

ATHENS – A ‘Virtual Assistance’ service for the general public has been launched in 85 countries by the Foreign Ministry of Greece, including in all 126 Greek consular locations, according to an announcement.

BOSTON — A Massachusetts ex-town official seen on surveillance video marching through the U.

HAVACO — Mayapple plants sprout in the sunken soil where the bodies lie, their leaves sheltering the unmarked graves like tiny umbrellas.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand is launching a wide-ranging inquiry into whether it made the right decisions in battling COVID-19 and how it can better prepare for future pandemics.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.