Περιοδική έκδοση

Newsletter Οκτώβριος 2013

HIGHLIGHT

New Initiatives to Facilitate Investment

The global business community is welcoming new, proactive initiatives to facilitate investment in Greece.

As Greece broadens its scope of programmes and incentives, investors from all the world are responding positively. One such initiative is new legislation that provides residence permits for citizens making strategic investments and purchasing real estate.

To highlight the new programme, Invest in Greece held an event on Monday 23 September 2013, in partnership with the Ministry for Development and Competitiveness and the Ministry of Interior, on “Residence Permits for third-country citizens for strategic investments and real estate owners”.  The event was attended by more than 350 participants, including lawyers, real estate agents, representatives of foreign Embassies in Greece, and journalists.

The Vice Minister for Development and Competitiveness, Mr. Notis Mitarachi, the CEO of Invest in Greece, Mr. Stephanos Issaias, and Mr. Angelos Syrigos, the Secretary General of Population and Social Cohesion of the Ministry of Interior, addressed participants and fielded questions to provide a comprehensive overview of the programme.

The law allows third country (non-EU) citizens, whose investments are classified as strategic, or who own real estate property the value of which is, at minimum, 250,000 Euro, to obtain a residence permit to live in Greece. 

The initiative is part of the government’s efforts to make Greece friendlier and more attractive to those who wish to own property in Greece. The procedure gives third-country citizens the option of obtaining a permanent residence permit for five years, which can then be renewed, if they fall under one of the following categories:
a) Third country citizens who either own, or intend to own (supported by the relevant documentation), real estate property in Greece, provided its minimum value is €250.000.
b) Third country citizens who have signed a lease – for a minimum of 10 years – for hotel accommodations or furnished tourist residences in integrated tourist resorts, provided the minimum cost of the lease is €250.000.
c) Family members of the third country citizens described above.

Mr. Stephanos Issaias, CEO of Invest in Greece, noted in his opening remarks that “since 2008, when we started recording the electronic requests addressed to Invest in Greece, no other law or programme of the Greek state has led to such a great demand for information in such a brief period of time. We have already received more than 300 unique requests regarding this new procedure. At the same time, the great turnout at today’s event confirms the clear and great opportunities for development in the real estate sector. This is indicative of how a positive and appealing measure for investors can become a strong incentive for the attraction of foreign investment, and leads either directly or indirectly to the creation of new employment opportunities”.

The Vice Minister for Development and Competitiveness, Mr. Notis Mitarachi, said, “This is the time when we need all types of investment: private and public; Greek or from abroad; small or large. Given the current economic climate, we should emphasise on private investments, and the real estate sector is one of the key sectors which used to be a driving force of our economy. The Greek state should ensure that this sector is placed back into a strong position, so that it can contribute to the development and strengthening of the national economy.”

Mr. Angelos Syrigos, Secretary General of Population and Social Cohesion of the Ministry of Interior, outlined the legal and regulatory framework relating to this procedure, and the conditions and restrictions which apply to it. He said, “There is a lot of interest in this measure, which we are very pleased by. We have already received tens of applications for residence permits, mainly from countries such as Russia, the USA, Canada, Ukraine, the UAE, and China.”

A two-hour open discussion with the audience followed, where aspects of the law and its provisions were addressed. The panel also received feedback from the audience for future amendments to this procedure.

Invest in Greece, in partnership with the Ministry for Development and Competitiveness and  the General Secretariat of Population and Social Cohesion of the Ministry of Interior, have prepared a brief guide to “Residence Permits for real estate owners in Greece”, which is available in Greek and English through the Invest in Greece website.