After two European countries changed their regulations, the initiative by Mas Pais to scrap the Spanish Golden Visa does seem as a possibility.
Last week, two EU countries, Ireland and Portugal, announced the end of their Golden Visa residency programs. The move comes amidst a wider package of measures aimed at addressing the housing crisis in Portugal, while Ireland cited the appropriateness and suitability of the program as the reason for its termination.
Additionally, a political party leader in Spain has submitted a bill to Congress, which could lead to the end of the Spanish Golden Visa program. The bill aims to terminate the possibility of obtaining a Spanish Golden Visa through buying a house or real estate, which is seen as encouraging speculation and harming the local population.
Ireland’s Minister for Justice, Simon Harris, announced the end of the Golden Visa program in Ireland on February 14. The program was initially created to stimulate investment in Ireland during economic difficulties.
However, the country now claims that the program’s appropriateness and suitability for cultural, social, and economic use have been called into question, leading to the decision to end the program.
The decision was also influenced by reports and findings by EU Commission, Council of Europe, and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on similar investment programs.
Similarly, the Golden Visa program in Portugal was ended as part of a wider package of measures aimed at combating the housing crisis in the country.
The Portuguese Council announced that it will no longer grant new Golden Visas but will allow the existing ones to be renewed only for own and permanent housing or if placed on the rental market for a long time.
While the government acknowledges that the program is not among the main factors contributing to rising housing costs in Portugal, they believe that ending the program will combat real estate speculation.
Spanish Golden Visa – next on the line
In Spain, the leader of a left-wing political party, Más País, has submitted a bill to Congress to terminate the Spanish Golden Visa program by purchase of real estate, which might make Spain the third country to end its Golden Visa program.
The bill aims to eliminate the purchase of real estate as a way to become a resident in Spain, which is seen as encouraging speculation and harming the local population.
The bill’s spokesperson, Íñigo Errejón, claims that Spanish Golden Visa system does not benefit the national economy and “expel the local population,” generating a “very negative” chain effect on the housing market.
While the bill has not yet been discussed in Congress, if approved, articles 63 and 64 of Law 14/2013 will be modified, leading to the end of the Spanish Golden Visa program. The move comes as countries re-evaluate the appropriateness and suitability of the Golden Visa programs in the context of economic, social, and housing concerns.
Spanish Golden Visa program has been criticized for years by those who argue that it benefits foreign investors at the expense of local residents.
The program was introduced in 2013 as a way to stimulate investment in the Spanish economy during a time of economic hardship. Under the program, non-EU citizens could obtain residency in Spain by investing a minimum of €500,000 in real estate or other assets.
However, the program has faced criticism for being too lenient and for its potential to drive up housing prices. Critics argue that the program has contributed to gentrification in major cities like Madrid and Barcelona, driving up the cost of living for local residents and pushing them out of their neighborhoods.
The move to end the Spanish Golden Visa program is seen as a step in the right direction by those who believe that the program has had a negative impact on the Spanish economy and society.
However, it remains to be seen whether the bill will be approved by Congress and whether it will have the desired effect of curbing speculation and promoting local investment in Spain’s economy.
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