Greece to extend ‘golden visa’ scheme to lure more investors

Greece to extend ‘golden visa’ scheme to lure more investors

ATHENS-Agence France-Presse

Greece on July 19 said it will extend its “golden visa” program to include those investing a minimum of 400,000 euros in the country.

In return, recipients will get five-year Greek residency permits which also allow non-European Union citizens to travel freely throughout the bloc.

The scheme was previously reserved for those investing at least 250,000 euros ($290,000) in real estate in Greece.

The law will be voted in a few months, a source in the ministry of migration policy told AFP, confirming a report in the Kathimerini newspaper.

The aim is to “attract investors to help in the (economic) revival and respond to market demand,” the source said.

The plan was launched in 2013 to revive debt-laden Greece’s moribund real estate market and it has attracted some 5,000 mainly Chinese, Russian, Turkish and Egyptian nationals.

Thirteen European Union countries have similar programs.

The European Parliament now wants a better framework for such schemes to fight corruption and money laundering.