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Greece confirms increasing Golden Visa investment requirement: Details inside

09:05 PM | 12 Feb, 2024
Greece confirms increasing Golden Visa investment requirement: Details inside

ATHENS - The authorities in Greece have decided to increase the investment threshold for securing the Golden Visa in response to a surge of Chinese nationals purchasing properties in exchange for residency rights.

The country has announced new measures aimed at safeguarding locals from the resulting housing crisis as Golden Visa has seen a significant influx of Chinese buyers in recent years, prompting concerns about its impact on the local market.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis unveiled the government's plan to address the issue, raising the threshold of real estate investment required for residency from $269,491 to $862,372 in certain areas.

This move, Mitsotakis explained, aims to provide a much-needed boost to the economy while also protecting the integrity of the local housing market.

The proposal has garnered rare bipartisan support, with opposition leaders endorsing the plan in light of the housing shortage. Calls have been made to restrict foreign investors, particularly Chinese nationals, from profiting through short-term rentals instead of using properties for residential purposes, exacerbating the housing crisis for locals.

Residents in popular tourist areas, such as those near the Acropolis, have voiced concerns about the impact of the influx of tourists staying in leased apartments, driving up prices and making it increasingly difficult for locals to find affordable housing options.

Since the launch of the Golden Visa program in 2014, Greece has granted renewable residence permits to foreigners investing a minimum of nearly $270,000 in property. The program has seen a surge in popularity, with the number of permits issued quadrupling in the past year alone. Chinese nationals constitute the majority of beneficiaries, followed by Turks, Lebanese, and Israelis, according to data from the Bank of Greece.

It is also being reported that higher charges for Golden Visas will be imposed on properties in coveted locations such as central Athens and popular Greek islands like Mykonos and Santorini, which are particularly favored by Chinese investors.

Though the Golden Visa programs are popular all across the world, the housing crisis also invites criticism for the government. For Greece,  one of the country’s main opposition parties (left-wing PASOK) called for the program’s termination, citing the soaring property prices.

Recently, Portugal also ended its Golden Visa program after the housing crisis skyrocketed in some areas. 

The Commission of the European Union has stressed all countries that run such schemes to terminate them as soon as possible as it provides shelter to criminals and those involved in any illegal activity.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Currency Rates in Pakistan - Pakistani rupee exchange rate against US dollar, Euro, Pound and Riyal - 24 Feb 2024

Pakistani currency remains largely stable against US dollar and other currencies in the open market on February 24, 2024.

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.5 for buying and 282.55 for selling.

On Saturday, Euro stands at 302  for buying and 305 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352.5 for buying, and 356 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.1 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 24 February 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.5 282.55
Euro EUR 302 305
UK Pound Sterling GBP 352.5 356
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.1 76.8
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.35 75.1
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.88 751.88
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209
China Yuan CNY 38.89 39.29
Danish Krone DKK 40.38 40.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.76 36.11
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.10 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.79 917.79
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.6 59.2
New Zealand Dollar NZD 171.68 173.68
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.43 26.73
Omani Riyal OMR 726.53 734.53
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.76 77.46
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 26.53 26.83
Swiss Franc CHF 317.87 320.37
Thai Bhat THB 7.79 7.94

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