Under relentless attack by left-wingers, Portugal’s Golden Visas still have some heavyweight champions.
Says TSF radio, the Chinese are adamant that the fast-track entry permits to Europe are “good for the economy”.
The fact that government allies Bloco de Esquerda condemn them for promoting property speculation and economic crime shows that the party is “crazy”, Y Ping Chow president of the League of Chinese in Portugal told his interviewer.
BE is a political group that thinks everyone should be poor, Y Ping Chow continued – dropping a veiled warning often used to justify the visa regime: the number of Chinese applying for these visas in Portugal is currently dropping, he stressed, because “the Chinese have many more choices”.
Other countries do indeed operate similar ‘fast track’ residency schemes, which also come under attack from groups like Transparency International (click here).
Thus, it is unclear what the future for the visas that have been attracting thousands of applications since 2012 might be.
In the face of BE’s proposal to scrap Portugal’s regime, the government has admitted that it indeed has failed to create employment. Of 5700 requests from foreign nationals, only 9 were to create employment – all the others were focused on high-end properties, many for the purposes simply of gaining access to Europe.
Campaigning MEP Ana Gomes – soon to leave Brussels and concentrate her efforts on fighting corruption – has repeatedly asked the government for the names of people awarded Golden Visas in Portugal, but she never gets them.
“They arrange all kinds of excuses”, she told reporters this week – including, “perversely” data protection “which is not even relevant”, as the data has been requested for the purposes of analysis, not publication.
Says TSF, Gomes believes that if authorities did reveal the list of names “cases of involvement in criminal activity would be found” along with “individuals politically exposed” who should not have access to Schengen Space.