ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece is planning to further raise the investment threshold for "golden visas" to foreigners to 800,000 euros ($861,520) for real estate in cities and islands where demand is high, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Friday.
Greece first launched its golden visa scheme in 2014, granting foreigners a renewable, five-year residence permit in the EU member state in return for a 250,000-euro property investment in the country.
Last year, it raised the threshold to 500,000 euros in certain neighbourhoods of the capital Athens and its second-biggest city of Thessaloniki, as well as on the islands of Mykonos and Santorini, two of its biggest tourism destinations.
Speaking in parliament on Friday, Mitsotakis said the government was considering raising it further in certain urban areas and on islands. He did not name the areas.
"What we are discussing with the finance minister, and I believe we will be able to announce something very soon, is a further significant increase in the threshold for golden visa investments," Mitsotakis said.
He said the threshold could reach 800,000 euros.
Greece has issued just over 17,500 golden visas since 2018, according to the latest available migration ministry data. Chinese citizens accounted for 61% of those. As well as residency in Greece, the visas allow travel within Europe's free movement Schengen zone.
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(Reporting by Karolina Tagaris and Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Alison Williams)