The BE party will ask for parliamentary appreciation of the Government decree-law that alters ‘golden’ visas, considering that this diploma has setbacks, changes “almost nothing”, and insists on the need to definitively revoke this regime.
Speaking to Lusa news agency, BE MP Maria Manuel Rola explained the reasons that led the party to move forward with this request for parliamentary consideration of the Government decree of 12 February, which changes the legal regime of entry, stay, exit and expulsion of foreigners from the national territory, which includes the figure of the residence permit for investment activity, the so-called ‘golden’ visas.
“We asked for the appreciation of this decree maintaining our position regarding the regime and will propose precisely the end of ‘golden’ visas mainly at a time when we are entering a new problematic cycle, with an economic and social crisis, in which the housing crisis is at its full exponent and it is necessary to curb real estate speculation in Portugal,” she justified.
This is not the first time that the Bloqueistas have defended and proposed the end of ‘golden’ visas, which the BE deputy considers “bring more problems than they solve”.
However, Maria Manuel Rola also criticises the decree that introduces changes to this regime, recalling that it came in the wake of a legislative authorisation approved in the 2020 State Budget and that has only now been legislated.
“There is a backward step as to the date since, instead of entering this year, it will only enter in January 2022”, she criticises, warning that “it’s a long time with the possibility of keeping everything the same”.
In addition, according to the Bloquista deputy, there is also the issue that “only buildings with piped or residential typology” will be excluded from this type of investments.
“What does this mean? That in fact there is no end to ‘golden’ visas, not even in metropolitan or coastal areas”, she considers.
This, therefore, “is the right time for Portugal to protect itself from foreign capital that increases property speculation, hampers housing policies and is also known for bringing in illicit activities, in this case money laundering and corruption”, she adds.
For all these reasons, this is the moment, in Maria Manuel Rola’s view, to stop “this problem that has been around for so many years” in Portugal.
According to the diploma published on 12 February, the end of ‘golden visas’ for foreign real estate investors in the coastal and metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Porto was postponed for six months, compared to what was announced by the Government, starting on 1 January, 2022.
At the end of a Council of Ministers meeting on 22 December, the Minister of State and of the Presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva announced this approval, as foreseen in a legislative authorisation of the State Budget for 2020, announcing that it would come into force in July 2021, with a transitory period.
The diploma, she explained at the time, aims to “favour the promotion of foreign investment in low density regions, namely in urban requalification, cultural heritage, activities of high environmental or social value, productive investment and job creation”.