Greek government scheme that grants visas to non-EU citizens in exchange for €250,000 (£219,000) property investments is leading to mass evictions, with renters removed from their homes to make way for AirBnB properties, The Sunday Telegraph has learned.
In an echo of the AirBnB ‘epidemic’ in cities such as Barcelona, homes are increasingly being bought and converted into AirBnB properties, primarily by Chinese investors, under the Golden Visa scheme being actively promoted by the Greek government.
A new report has found that there are whole areas of Athens and other Greek cities where AirBnB now amounts to 81-95 per cent of the overall rentals. In the last two years, the number of AirBnB properties has been increased from 9,000 to 129,000, with real estate sources claiming that most of them come from Golden Visa portfolios.
Golden Visas have in the last five years rejuvenated the real estate market in Greece and the government is now planning to expand the programme.
The visas are the cheapest in the EU – the equivalent in the UK costs £2 million – and allow for non-EU investors to live and do business in Greece, visa-free travel in any country of the EU and the right to apply for an EU citizenship. The vast majority of Golden Visas are taken up by Chinese investors, followed by Russians and Turks lured by the relatively low cost of the visas.
Via The Telegraph