Raising the Bar: Greece’s Plan to Increase Minimum Investment for Golden Visa

In a recent parliamentary session, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis addressed concerns surrounding the country’s Golden Visa program, unveiling plans to adjust the minimum investment requirements in response to mounting pressures on the real estate market, particularly in areas with higher rents. 

Golden Visa Controversy and Reform 

The Golden Visa program, which offers residency permits to non-EU citizens in exchange for investment in Greek real estate, has been a subject of contention. Critics, including members of the socialist opposition, argue that it aggravates affordability issues for locals by driving up property prices. However, Prime Minister Mitsotakis countered these claims, emphasizing that the program accounts for only a small fraction of real estate transactions, around 7% in the past two years. 

Acknowledging the economic benefits brought by the Golden Visa program, including significant foreign direct investment (FDI) amounting to nearly EUR 6 billion since its inception in 2015, Mitsotakis also recognized the need for reforms to address localized affordability challenges. 

Balancing Investment and Affordability 

In response to mounting concerns regarding the impact of the Golden Visa program on local housing markets, Prime Minister Mitsotakis unveiled plans to adjust the minimum investment thresholds, particularly in areas facing significant rent pressures. By raising these thresholds, the government seeks to temper the upward pressure on property prices while still enticing foreign investors. This proposed reform reflects a strategic approach to maintaining housing affordability for residents while continuing to leverage foreign investment to stimulate economic growth. 

The planned adjustments represent an attempt to strike a delicate balance between the economic benefits of the Golden Visa program and the need to address localized affordability challenges. Mitsotakis’ initiative underscores a commitment to proactive governance, aiming to ensure that Greece’s real estate market remains accessible to both domestic and international stakeholders. Through these reforms, the government aims to foster a more sustainable and equitable housing landscape, where foreign investment complements rather than distorts local housing dynamics. 

Investment Tier Reform in Golden Visa 

The Prime Minister outlined a tiered approach, indicating that in high-demand areas such as large urban centers and islands, the minimum investment threshold could increase substantially, potentially reaching EUR 800,000. This adjustment seeks to channel investments towards larger-scale projects that do not directly compete with the housing needs of local families. 

Conversely, in regions with minimal housing pressure, Mitsotakis suggested retaining a lower investment threshold of EUR 250,000 to encourage development in underserved areas. This strategy aims to distribute investment more evenly across the country while revitalizing neglected regions. 

Golden Visa’s Long-Term Rental Consideration 

Moreover, Mitsotakis expressed openness to exploring additional measures, including the possibility of obligating Golden Visa investors to engage in long-term rentals, thereby discouraging short-term rental practices like Airbnb. While acknowledging the limited impact due to existing long-term leases, Mitsotakis welcomed the discussion on potential regulatory adjustments to further align the program with broader housing policy objectives. 


In conclusion, Prime Minister Mitsotakis assured that the government would soon announce concrete measures to address the concerns raised by the opposition, emphasizing a nuanced approach that preserves the economic benefits of the Golden Visa program while mitigating its impact on local housing markets. By implementing targeted reforms, Greece aims to foster sustainable development and ensure inclusive growth across its diverse regions. 

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