NEWS

Passports offered for investments

DIMITRA MANIFAVA

TAGS: Business

In a bid to lure foreign investment to Greece, the government is planning to follow in the footsteps of other European countries by introducing additional incentives, including the offer of citizenship to those that purchase real estate worth at least 2 million euros.

More specifically, the plan envisages that prospective investors eligible for Greek citizenship must also become permanent residents in Greece, with a home worth at least 500,000 euros and paying at least 50,000 euros annually in maintenance costs.

The plan comes at a time when many investors outside the European Union are looking for new destinations to purchase real estate due to Brexit.

In order to avoid instances of fraud, the plan stipulates a series of checks. In order for citizenship to be granted, the price of the real estate should be paid in full at the time of signing the purchase contract.

The amount will be paid by crossed check or bank transfer into the account of the beneficiary. The account must be held with a Greek bank or a credit institution supervised by the Bank of Greece.

In addition, the government plans to set a limit on the number of naturalizations allowed each year – reportedly 200.

Furthermore, the government is also examining the prospect of offering incentives to individuals and legal entities to choose Greece as the place where their income will be taxed.

The new incentives will be added to the already existing Golden Visa program which was introduced in 2013.

Rather than granting citizenship, the Golden Visa program offers a five-year residence permit to non-European Union citizens who buy property in Greece worth at least 250,000 euros.

In March, the Golden Visa program was extended to also include the purchase of stocks and bonds.

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