By S. Zisimos
Ubiquitous Greek bureaucracy is reportedly behind a delay in the implementation of a new framework for the so-called "Golden Visa" program, which grants long-term residency status to non-EU foreign nationals that invest a certain amount of capital in the country, mostly for property purchases.
The framework was set to come on line on July 1, 2019, nevertheless two joint ministerial decisions have still not been signed.
As such, the successor framework will essentially come under the domain of the next Greek government to be elected after the July 7 election. At present, non-EU citizens must acquire a property in the country of at least 250,000 euros - confirmed via a bank transaction and signed contract - in order to qualify for the "golden visa".
According to the outgoing government, 645 new golden visas were issued in the first five months of 2019, of which 383 were issued in April-May alone. In 2018, 1,399 such visas were issued.
Chinese nationals are in first place, with 2,757 recipients out of the 4,537 visas issued since 2013, far ahead of Russian and Turkish nationals, which came in second and third, respectively.