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Bulgaria offers citizenship to foreign investors

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 30, 2012 at 10:23 am •  Published: November 30, 2012
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Government officials, however, are cautious about the idea.

"It is not government policy. Nor is it likely to become so," the spokeswoman for Spain's Economy Ministry said on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to discuss future policy discussions.

Spain's residency idea for foreign home buyers would not give permanent residency or the privilege of working.

It still would beat other offers from bailed-out EU countries like Ireland and Portugal, where residency papers are offered to foreigners buying houses worth more than €400,000 ($519,400) and €500,000 ($649,300) respectively.

Even though these plans increase the number of people who have an EU passport, the EU says citizenship issues are the responsibility of national governments.

Latvia, an EU nation on the Baltic coast, offers a deal where property buyers are eligible to receive residency permits if they buy real estate in the capital Riga worth €140,000 ($181,800) or places worth €70,000 ($90,900) in the countryside.

Hungary's parliament has begun debating a proposal that would give foreigners purchasing at least €250,000 ($324,600) in special bonds the possibility of obtaining residency rights but not citizenship. Lawmakers who drafted the proposal, which could be approved this year, say Chinese investors are among the groups targeted.

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Alan Clendenning and Harold Heckle contributed from Madrid; Pablo Gorondi from Budapest.