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Chinese investors snap up Greek 'Golden Visas'
CHINESE investors led the so-called Golden Visa boom in Greece, where residence permits issued to non-EU countries citizens grew 46 per cent last year.
Other crisis-hit countries such as Portugal and Spain have used the scheme for years to lure investors in a bid to stoke an economic recovery. Spending a minimum of 250,000 euros (S$380,356) on a home in Greece secures a five-year renewable visa.
According to the latest data from the migration policy ministry published by the Kathimerini newspaper on Saturday, Chinese investors account for 58 per cent of the residence permits issued from 2013.
Since the launch of the programme until the end of the first trimester of 2019, a total of 4,154 permits were issued. Of these 1,399 were handed out last year, up from 961 in 2017. Chinese investors have acquired 2,416 out of the 4,154 permits issued so far. Russian citizens came second with 428, followed by Turks.
The European Commission published a report earlier this year, urging members to curb the practice of granting golden visas and passports to foreign investors. AFP