Greece’s Golden Visa program has fetched some 2 billion euros into the country’s property market since the launch in 2014 of the scheme f
Golden Visa program attracts investments of 2 billion euros

Golden Visa program attracts investments of 2 billion euros

Golden Visa program attracts investments of 2 billion euros

Golden Visa program attracts investments of 2 billion euros

Golden Visa program attracts investments of 2 billion euros

Golden Visa program attracts investments of 2 billion euros
Golden Visa program attracts investments of 2 billion euros
  • 2020-01-14 17:00:18 1 months ago
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Greece’s Golden Visa program has fetched some 2 billion euros into the country’s property market since the launch in 2014 of the scheme for the concession of five-year residence permits to non-European Union investors who spend at least 250,000 on local realty.

According to the latest official data from the Citizens’ Protection Ministry, by the end of 2019, a total of 6,304 residence permits had been issued in those five-and-a-half years. Although the threshold is at a quarter of a million euros, lawyers and estate agents confirm that the vast majority of buyers spend an average of 300,000-350,000 euros each.

Last year saw a 22 percent increase in new permits issued, which numbered 2,239, against 1,833 in 2018. Chinese buyers confirmed their dominance in 2019 as their share grew further than in previous years: Since mid-2014, when the program started, 70 percent of permits, or 4,371, have been issued to Chinese nationals. A year ago that rate had stood at around 60 percent, and sector experts believe this figure will grow again this year as an estimated 75-80 percent of transactions related to Golden Visas are conducted by Chinese investors.

Real estate professionals say the number of permits would have been even higher last year had it not been for the significant delays seen in a series of agencies in Attica, at least in the first half of 2019, regarding the processing of applications. The problems were contained somewhat, but did not disappear in the fall, before the situation reverted to normal in the last couple of months.

With the country on a growth trajectory now, it is clear that 2020 will be another year of expansion for the program, as expectations of a future rise in prices have attracted more investors. Market experts say these new investors bear different characteristics to the first generation of Golden Visa buyers, who targeted cheaper properties; the new buyers are eyeing investments with a growth character, as there are buildings that are being reconstructed to be sold to candidate buyers wishing to get a residence permit. That trend was seen in previous years too, but only for low-standard properties; now there are several new investments in more expensive areas such as the southern suburbs of Attica and the Cycladic islands.

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Golden Visa program attracts investments of 2 billion euros

Ferry firms arguing over popular routes

Ferry firms arguing over popular routes

While residents of Samothraki and Kythira as well as several other islands in the Aegean Sea fear another problem may deprive them of maritime transportation this year – following similar experiences in recent years – coastal shipping companies are striving to offer more vessels on the popular routes to the Cyclades and Crete.

Ferry operators are now at odds over the day-trip service from Iraklio to Santorini and Mykonos, which is served by high-speed vessels carrying thousands of tourists for one-day visits. According to sources, some operators with a presence on these routes are pressing for the approval of new vessels on the Crete-Cyclades service, after the deadline too, rival ferry firms say.

With Santorini suffering from overcrowding at peak season, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development proposing the introduction of tickets to visit Oia – a Santorini village famed for its sunset views – it would appear strange for the ferry operators concerned to claim there is an urgent need to introduce new high-speed vessels on those routes after the deadline set by the the state. The Shipping Ministry says there are gray areas on the subject.
 

Greece wants to take part in Berlin's Libya summit

Greece wants to take part in Berlin's Libya summit

Greece has asked to attend a summit in Berlin which will discuss a path to peace in Libya, government spokesman Stelios Petsas revealed on Tuesday.

The news came a regular press briefing, when Petsas was asked about Greece’s “absence” from any diplomatic initiatives concerning the crisis in Libya.

“Nobody can say that Greece is absent, but instead it is at the center of developments. We want to be involved in any initiative in the search for a political solution,” he told journalists and announced the request.

Reuters reported that the summit will coincide with a one-day visit to Berlin by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and will be held on January 19.

The same report said that “Erdogan’s presence is seen as essential to the success of any conference on Libya, since Ankara’s decision to deploy military advisers and possibly troops there has made it a major player in the country’s long-running civil war.”

The summit was announced by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday, who said that the United Nations would lead talks if a meeting were to take place in Berlin.