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Greece Liberalises Real Estate Transactions In Border Line Areas
The Greek Parliament has adopted a new law for the liberalisation of real estate transactions in border areas. The reform is expected to facilitate foreign investment (especially investments coming from non EU investors) on real estate transactions. Taxand Greece provides an overview of the new law.
Until recently, the majority of tourist areas (e.g.many of the islands) were characterised as "border line areas" and real estate transactions involving foreign investors were either prohibited, or subject to a series of time-consuming preapproval procedures (for non EU investors) and some administrative formalities (for EU investors). Such restrictions applied both to direct real estate transactions (sale or lease of land), as well as to indirect real estate transactions (transfer of shares of companies that owned real estate assets in border areas).
The new law introduces two major reforms:
- reduces the areas which (for purposes of real estate transactions) are characterised border areas, and
- reduces the restrictions for real estate transactions in border areas.
Under the new regime, investors (individuals and/or legal entities) coming from the European Union (EU) and / or from European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries are fully exempt from any restriction, government scrutiny or prior authorisation, and may therefore freely engage in any (direct or indirect) real estate transaction in any border line designated area (asset, as well as share deals are fully liberalised) without the need for prior notification or approval.
Non EU/EFTA investors (which under the previous regime were subject to the scrutiny and discretionary approval of the Ministry of Defense) are now subject to a speedier review of their purchase objective which is conducted by the competent Regional Administration.
Your Taxand contact for further queries is:
Daphne M. Cozonis
T. +30 210 69 67 000
Read the full newsletter on the liberalisation of real estate transactions from Taxand Greece below: