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Greece Golden Visa. Golden Visa Program

Greece Implements Changes to Golden Visa Program

In response to the ongoing housing crisis, Greece has announced significant amendments to its Golden Visa Program, aiming to strike a balance between attracting foreign investment and addressing domestic housing needs. The Minister of Finance, Kostis Hatzidakis, unveiled the reforms, underscoring the government’s commitment to tackling the housing shortage while enhancing the attractiveness of the investment landscape in Greece.

According to Ekathimerini, the revised program introduces several new rules, with a particular focus on regions facing acute housing challenges. Notably, the minimum investment requirement for obtaining a Greek residence permit will now be raised to €800,000 in popular areas and islands with populations exceeding 3,100 inhabitants.

Regions such as Attica, Mykonos, Santorini, and Thessaloniki are among those affected by the higher investment threshold. Conversely, in other areas, the minimum investment requirement will remain at €400,000, reflecting varying housing demands and population sizes across different regions.

The adjustments aim to tailor investment thresholds to the specific needs of each area, ensuring that they fall within a range that is commensurate with local housing demands. Additionally, foreign investors are required to purchase properties of no less than 120 square meters to qualify for the Golden Visa Program.

However, exceptions to the standard investment requirements have been outlined. For instance, buildings originally designated for industrial use but converted into residential properties will have a lower investment threshold of €250,000. Furthermore, Greece has decided to prohibit properties acquired through the Golden Visa Program from being used for short-term rentals, in a bid to safeguard against speculative investment practices.

Minister Hatzidakis emphasized the government’s dual commitment to addressing housing needs and attracting investment, stating that the reforms aim to prioritize the interests of households while fostering a conducive investment environment. Nevertheless, the changes have sparked concerns among foreign investors and real estate professionals, who fear that Greece’s revised regulations may deter prospective investors.

Critics argue that the stricter rules could potentially diminish Greece’s appeal compared to other countries offering more favorable conditions for foreign investment. Despite these reservations, Greece’s Golden Visa Program continues to be a significant driver of foreign investment, with data indicating substantial inflows totaling over €4.3 billion between 2021 and 2023.

As Greece navigates the delicate balance between stimulating economic growth and addressing societal needs, the evolution of its Golden Visa Program underscores the country’s determination to forge a sustainable path forward in the realm of real estate investment.

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