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Greek goverment is to attract as many foreign investments as possible.

The Finance Ministry is finalizing measures to ease the burden on property owners too, saying the tax discount will not be the same for all landlords affected by the rent discounts, while offering some details about how the Golden Visa program may resume.

Addressing a teleconference on the property market organized by Prodexpo Real Estate on Tuesday, Deputy Minister Thodoros Skylakakis said the government is not considering increasing the 40 percent rent discount which currently applies to workers and companies hurt by the coronavirus measures.

He also explained that the Single Property Tax (ENFIA) “discount for property owners will not be horizontal – i.e. for everyone. On the contrary, it will concern those hurt and will be proportionate to the degree of each landlord’s losses.”

The ministry also approved the 40 percent reduction on the rent that university students pay in cities away from their family homes, provided they are the dependent children of employees at enterprises harmed by the crisis to the extent they had to stop working.

Skylakakis also said on Tuesday that, if not today, then in the next few days the government will announce that foreign investors will be able to apply for a residence permit, known as a Golden Visa, through proxies too. This means their physical presence at the various agencies of the Migration Policy Ministry will not be necessary. This is one of several measures the government will be introduce in the coming weeks so as to get the economy restarted from early May.

“We intend for all activities, services and operations required to get going so as to make it possible to implement investments in Greece from abroad. To accelerate the course of growth in the coming months, we will seek to lift the bureaucratic obstacles that currently exist in the property market,” said Skylakakis.

The main objective is to attract as many foreign investments as possible, at an even faster pace than before the coronavirus outbreak. “We will also seek out special protocols so as to accept people from abroad wishing to invest in the realty market,” he added.

Source: eKathimerini

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Debtors will be allowed to lease back their home

The new bankruptcy code will provide for the main residences of bankrupt borrowers considered financially vulnerable to be transferred to a state entity and leased back to the original owners. This will replace the existing framework for the protection of debtors’ main residence from repossession.

The government is therefore examining the creation of a corporation that will take ownership of the borrowers’ homes and lease the property back to them, with the possibility of a buyback option under certain conditions. This proposal appears to enjoy the support of banks, which are keen to find a way to stop bad mortgages from soaring due to the financial crisis resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

This idea was discussed extensively at a teleconference late on Wednesday with the participation of government and credit sector officials and will form part of the new bankruptcy legislation to replace the existing protection system that expires on April 30.

Borrowers will be eligible for this scheme after the liquidation of all their assets, as long as their monthly disposable household income does not exceed the standard living costs as determined by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), and the officially determined value (“objective value”) of the main residence does not exceed 120,000 euros for a single borrower, rising by 40,000 euros for a married debtor and another 20,000 euros per child (up to three children).

The transfer of a debtor’s main residence to that entity will be at a price equal to the commercial value of the property. The borrower will be able to stay in the property paying a monthly rent for 12 years. Three years after the start of the lease, the debtor will obtain the right to transform the rental agreement into a 20-year contract with a buyback option.

The blueprint, which is still being discussed between the government and the banks, will provide that the rent will be set based on the average floating mortgage rate adjusted to the European Central Bank interest rate. If the debtor pays all rental tranches for the duration of the contract, they will regain ownership of the home or be able to transfer it to their legal heirs. However, the agreement will be terminated if the borrower fails to pay three monthly rents.

Source: eKathimerini