The decision by Portugal to terminate the Golden Visa Program has been met with condemnation from the President of the Government of the Azores, José Manuel Bolieiro. Bolieiro characterized the move as unilateral and expressed his disagreement, emphasizing the economic significance of the program for the autonomous regions.
In an interview with the Lusa agency, Bolieiro stated, "I will not be a commentator on the decisions. What I can say is the position of the Government of the Azores, which was favorable to the continuity of the golden visas and, taking into account their purpose, to express our disagreement and protest for the unilaterality of the decision."
Portugal's government proposal to end new residence permits for investment in housing received support in the Assembly of the Portuguese Republic, with the Socialist Party, Bloque de Izquierda (a left-wing political party), and the Portuguese Communist Party voting in favor of the measure.
President Bolieiro highlighted the economic value of the Golden Visa Program and suggested that an exception should have been made for the archipelagos. He stated, "We manifested at the time, and I had the opportunity to say, articulated, in fact, with the president [of the Government of Madeira] Miguel Albuquerque, that it was of interest to continue the project of gold visas, which in particular for our economies in the Azores and Madeira was relevant."
The termination of the Golden Visa Program has also faced opposition from Miguel Albuquerque, the President of the Autonomous Region of Madeira. He deemed the changes introduced by Prime Minister António Costa as "counterproductive" and criticized the focus on Local Accommodation as a scapegoat for housing problems. Albuquerque expressed concern about the impact on investor confidence and stated that the changes would not be applied in Madeira.
Despite the decision to terminate the program, a significant number of pending requests for golden visas still exist. Over 21,000 applications for the Residence Permit for Investment are currently in the pre-analysis phase, according to the Portugal News report.
The termination of the Golden Visa Program, aimed at addressing the housing crisis, comes despite a considerable increase in investments registered through the program in Portugal last year.
The criticism from President Bolieiro and President Albuquerque highlights the discontent among regional leaders regarding the termination of the Golden Visa Program in Portugal. It underscores the economic importance of the program for the autonomous regions and contributes to the ongoing discussions surrounding the decision.
By fLEXI tEAM