Migrants Not Welcome in Greece, Unless They’re Super-Rich

ATHENS – Vowing to keep out refugees and migrants, Greece has, however, opened its arms and doors to welcome so-called “millionaire immigrants,” some 1,200 expected to move to the country.

Greece is among the top 10 preferred countries for high income earners looking for another place of permanent residence, according to data from Henley & Partners, a company that helps wealthy clients migrate.

The company’s data shows where the rich are moving to take advantage of lenient tax laws and other incentives for them, with Greek households still facing a 24 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on food and other basic goods and the electric bills doubling and shipping oligarchs essentially untaxed.

With the COVID-19 pandemic receding, business for the world’s top 1 percent and rich booming and travel rocketing back, the super-rich are looking around for other places to live, including Americans.

Some 80,000 multi-millionaires are expected to settle in a foreign country this year, the report said, cited by Kathimerini, the number rising to 125,000 in 2023 and with Greece also luring “digital nomads” with technical skills who can work anywhere in the world.

Henley & Partners said Greece’s Golden Visa program, that sells residency and European Union passports to rich foreigners but makes even those in the Diaspora wait up to two years, is becoming more popular again.

The analysis by the group said that the migration of more ultra-wealthy will bring the number of multi-millionaires and billionaires in Greece to about 43,800, with the economy coming back as the pandemic eases.

Andrew Amoils, head of research at New World Wealth, which compiled the data for Henley & Partners said that, “People with very high wealth and high incomes are showing extremely high mobility lately.”

He added that, “Their moves and choices regarding their country of establishment are an early warning sign of future trends in the countries “Countries that attract wealthy people and families who immigrate there tend to be strong, with low crime rates, competitive tax rates and attractive business opportunities.”

While they are being lured, Greece has been accused by activists, human rights groups and major media of pushing back refugees and migrants trying to come from Turkey, where they went fleeing war, strife and economic hardship in their homes, the New Democracy government pledging to keep them out.


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