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Newsletter October 2011

NETWORKING NEW MARKETS

Purchase of Real Estate Simplified

The Greek government has eased and simplified the procedures for foreigners to buy real estate in border areas.

It is now far easier for citizens of third countries, from both within and outside the EU, to purcahse real estate in areas that were considered sensitive for national defense.

In the past, certain «border areas» deemed strategically important for security purposes, were off limits for the purchase of property by non-Greeks.

Now, according to the Ministry of National Defense, new regulations (Greek law of Directive 2009/81/EC) are in effect that simplifly and accelerate the process of licensing non-EU citizens to acquire real estate in Greece.

In addition, the prefectures of Thessaloniki and Chalkidiki cease being frontier regions for this purpose. In those areas still considered frontier, permits will be allocated at a regional level by committees formed for this purpose and no longer at the central level and ultimately by the Minister of National Defence himself.

Any type of permit necessary for citizens of Member States, as well as of those of the European Free Trade Area, is abolished.

The goal of the regulation, according to the Ministry of Defence, is to facilitate the movement within the real estate market without overlooking the interests of the country’s national security, since there will be a representative of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff  (GEETHA) on the regional committees.