The two schemes introduced by the Cyprus Government for obtaining passports and issuing of the Golden Visa serve the few and chosen.

The primary condition that the purchase of a house – apartment must only be for new property, which applies for the scheme of the Golden Visa, is an unfavorable discrimination and denies the right of disposal of properties to private individual sellers (of resale houses- apartments), that is, to most people.

If private persons had the right to address this market and resale houses and apartments to ‘Golden Visa’ applicants, definitely a lot of properties would have been sold by now, providing financial oxygen to our citizens who face financial problems and especially have trouble with their mortgages. In this way, non-performing loans (NPLs) could have been settled reducing this enormous problem which is the biggest burden for the economy.

Unfavourable discriminations not only concern the simple citizens but also the small businesses that are active in the property sector. A careful study of both schemes reveals which businesses can sell properties for both schemes.  

I even wonder whether the provisions of the two schemes that have been approved by the Council of Ministers are compatible with the provisions of the constitution since they create unfair competition and unfavourable discrimination between individuals and businesses (companies) who are active in the property sector.

Other European countries do not distinguish between new and resale properties

It would be an omission not to mention that other European countries, such as Malta, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece, that have the same or similar ‘Golden Visa’ scheme do not distinguish between resale and new properties, while the value for the purchase of property which is required is lower.

The discriminations, however, do not end

New criteria require the precondition of an authorised person for the application of the ‘Golden Visa’ or passport. It refers to a group of supposed licensed-registered professionals who will have monopolistic advantages with the well-known consequences of the creation of a monopolistic closed group.

At the same time, the advertising of the schemes will be banned under conditions which will lead to an even bigger reduction of fair competition.

Billions for the few

Certain people should not celebrate the fact that billions have entered Cyprus as a result of the two schemes and the new towers, because they are deserted and remain closed apartments and houses that have been bought for the ‘Golden Visa’ or the passport.

 It is not an exaggeration to assume that these billions are paid by middle- or lower-class buyers of properties (mainly young couples) who want to buy a house, but prices have risen enormously due to these schemes.

Growth is always welcome as long as it is sustainable and achieved in moderation, with reflection, prediction and most importantly in favour of all the citizens and not of a small group of people who accumulate wealth to the detriment others.

We hope that soon the government (Ministry of Interior) will include in the scheme (Golden Visa) all the properties that are available for sale, new and resale, without any discrimination. At the same time, we look forward to the reduction of the requirement for the value of property down to EUR 250,000 from the current EUR 300,000 in order to include more properties in the scheme to help more of our fellow citizens.

Halt the towers                

Finally, the uncontrolled licensing for towers in Limassol should also stop.

You should remember three predictions about the towers: a) deserted buildings, b) fire and risk, c) drop in the prices of these properties. The European Union has already warned us three times so far about the possible negative consequences of these schemes if we are not careful.