Online British news outlet “Daily Telegraph” claims thousands of Greek tenants are forced out of their homes in a piece entitled “Mass evictions in Athens as government offers golden visa incentive to Airbnb investors from Russia and China”.
For mass exhumations of Greek tenants from homes bought by Chinese, Turkish and Russian under the “Golden Vision” business, the British Telegraph speaks extensively.
As the piece reports, wealthy non-EU citizens are securing EU residency by buying up property in Greece in exchange for investments of 250,000 euros in the real estate industry under the “Golden Visa” scheme. The new foreign owners then lease the property to Airbnb evicting the tenants.
Within two years, Airbnb properties in Greece have skyrocketed from 9,000 to 129,000 euros thanks to the “Golden Visa,” as sources from the real estate say. This has given new impetus to the real estate market and the government is planning to expand the program, but there is a cost.
“The “golden visas” over the last five years have revitalised Real Estate in Greece, and the government is considering expanding the program”, the article points out. It goes on to stress that these type of visas in Greece are the cheapest in Europe – a corresponding visa in Britain costs £2 million – and allow non-EU citizens to live and work professionally in Greece, to travel to any country of Europe and apply for EU citizenship”.
The British newspaper notes the increases of 200 and 300 euros in rents in areas where AirBnB is booming.
As the article points out, the European Commission had called for stricter limitation to be put in force on the “golden visa” programmes.
According to the British newspaper, in January 2018 AirBnB announced that Greece agreed to a full release of short leases, disregarding its previous commitments. The number of Greek “golden visas” tripled in 2018, the article concludes.