Delete
Pedro Sánchez. SUR
Golden Visas
The Bottom Line opinion

Golden Visas

At the peak of the Euro crisis Spain's conservative prime minister Mariano Rajoy introduced the Golden Visa programme so that non-EU citizens could acquire Spanish residency by making substantial investments in real estate, businesses or government bonds

Uwe Scheele

Malaga

Friday, 12 April 2024, 16:41

Compartir

At the peak of the Euro crisis Spain's conservative prime minister Mariano Rajoy introduced the Golden Visa programme. Non-EU citizens could acquire Spanish residency by making substantial investments in real estate, businesses or government bonds. The left-wing government led by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez now aims to end this.

There's initially nothing objectionable about this, as residency should not be purchasable. Especially when considering how many migrants still struggle for residency years after their arrival simply because they lack sufficient funds.

Against the backdrop of housing shortages, the government argues for curbing speculation in housing. Indeed, Golden Visas have soared in the past two years, especially in the Balearic Islands and the province of Malaga: 5,290 compared to around 5,000 total in previous years.

However, in Spain alone, 590,000 properties were sold last year, so the influence of Golden Visas on property prices is likely to be minimal.

The fact that many of these properties are increasingly being sold as vacation homes to foreign buyers is indeed a problem for the local population.

In that respect, it is commendable that Sánchez is advocating for affordable housing for locals. However, the acquisition of luxury properties by EU foreigners cannot be restricted due to EU law. Therefore, the outcry from the tourism and real estate sectors over the abolition of Golden Visas is completely unjustified.

A sober analysis suggests that the programme has only brought negligible additional income to both sectors over the past eleven years.

Its abolition is therefore unlikely to have a particularly negative impact on these industries. On the other hand, inadequate water and transportation infrastructure are met with incomprehension by foreign buyers and visitors. And that has nothing to do with Golden Visas; the homework must be done by the responsible authorities on the ground.

Reporta un error en esta noticia

* Campos obligatorios