Greece’s Golden Visa Program Near Stop During COVID-19

September 25, 2020

ATHENS – Greece's lucrative Golden Visa program that sells five-year residency permits and European Union passports to rich foreigners – criticized for being open to money laundering and criminal activity – has been brought almost to a halt by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Migration Policy Ministry data showed that this year only 368 have been issued, bringing the total to 7,903, with 2019 a boom year that saw 3,428 sold, investors applicants required to invest at least 250,000 euros ($291,377) in the country.

In a feature, Kathimerini said many of the super wealthy who get the permits and passports while even those in the Diaspora with Greek heritage have to wait up to two years or more, spend so much it's brought a bonanza.

Bank of Greece figures have shown that the sum of foreign capital that flowed into the country for the acquisition of real estate assets last year reached €1.45 billion ($1.69 billion,) the paper said.

With international air traffic at a crawl and tough health restrictions in place for travelers, few are willing to take the risk of coming to Greece, the European Union banning those who don't live in the bloc with few exceptions, leading to some applications in the works to be left in limbo.

At least 120 Chinese investors who have already bought property in Greece cannot return to submit the necessary documents for the issue of their residence permit, that country representing 74 percent of those getting the visas.

The same problem concerns investors from the US, South Africa, India, the United Arab Emirates and Iran, the paper said, with a second wave of the pandemic dashing hopes for an economic rebound and putting another savage hit in the Attica prefecture including Athens, where 70 percent of the investments are made, property there being the most desired for them.


ATHENS - Electric bills that have soared rapidly in Greece have left many families and households unable to pay, even with state subsidies paying up to 80 percent of the cost, with energy costs across the board soaring.

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Mission…to Alonnisos, a TNH Documentary

O oceanic you sing and sail White on your body and yellow on your chimeneas For you're tired of the filthy waters of the harbors You who loved the distant Sporades You who lifted the tallest flags You who sail clear through the most dangerous caves Hail to you who let yourself be charmed by the sirens Hail to you for never having been afraid of the Symplegades (Andreas Empeirikos)   What traveler has not been fascinated by the Greek islands, drawn by the Sirens’ song of a traveler’s dreams? TNH and our video show ‘Mission’ marked the change of the season by transporting viewers into the heart of summer.

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