By Moustafa Daly
As neighboring Portugal announced ending its golden visa, the Spanish left-wing party, MásPaís (More Country), came forward with a parliamentary proposal to end the real estate option in the country’s golden visa program.
Since 2013, investors have had the ability to qualify for Spain’s golden visa by way of purchasing real estate worth at least €500,000, investing €2 million in Spain’s public debt, make a bank deposit of €1 million or investing in a new business which would offer employment in the country – the first option of which is what the Más País is after.
The bill is motivated by a number of concerns: “The EU has already warned us that this is a shady business,” said Verdes Equo, the leader of the Más País, in a recent radio interview. “The Spanish State does not control where this money comes from, nor how it was obtained or what the rest of the relatives who come do.
“It is basically a class shortcut,” he added, continuing: “How easy it is for some gentlemen to come and request a residence permit and buy a house with half a million euros. It seems almost colonial.”
Golden Visas and housing issues in the EU
“People who buy houses for more than half a million euros [are] multimillionaires that end up causing prices to rise around them," added Equo, citing the same concern which led Portugal to scrap its golden visa earlier this week, a decision that is yet to be approved by the country’s parliament.
The same concern was shared with Greece, which last month moved to tackle the issue by doubling the investment threshold in popular areas to keep real estate prices affordable for the local population.
The Más País party, however, is a minority party with only three seats in the country’s congress, and none in the senate. So it remains to be seen whether the proposal will make it through parliament.
This is a developing story.
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