The Portuguese government has ended the Golden Visa scheme that grants residency in exchange for investment and has banned new licences for tourist flats, except for rural ones in municipalities in unpopulated areas of the country. Portugal thus becomes the second EU country to suspend this type of visa, after Ireland. The plan approved by the government is aimed at tackling the housing crisis in Portugal, one of the key points of which is to “combat property speculation”. Other measures in the plan are aimed at greater control of the supply of tourist flats in order to increase the supply of rental housing.
The Portuguese government has suspended the Golden Visa to ease the pressure on housing. Local accommodation had a strong power to boost cities and create jobs, but downplayed the impact the measure could have on the tourism sector, one of the country’s economic engines. Prime Minister Antonio Costa said that we cannot kill the goose that lays the golden eggs and argued that tourism will not come from turning cities into a kind of Disneyland but from offering a unique experience.