Greece preparing citizenship by investment scheme similar to Cyprus’

More on competition among countries:

Local land developers but also service sector professionals are becoming concerned by reports that Greece’s new government is planning to launch a  citizenship by investment scheme similar to that of Cyprus.

The scheme provided by Nicosia in recent years has substantially contributed to the recovery of the Mediterranean island’s economy.

The new right-wing government under Kyriacos Mitsotakis is drafting its own citizenship by investment programme which resembles the Cypriot one and, thus, will be quite competitive, according to informed sources.

One source told Phileleftheros that the new programme is expected to be implemented after the first quarter of 2020 and may involve investments of €2.5 million. Cyprus’ investment limit is €2 million, plus VAT. In the case of Greece, the plan is for VAT payment to be deferred for a period of three years. This basically means that at the time of the investment the cost will essentially be the same as that in Cyprus.

Undoubtedly, the implementation of such a programme by Greece will create strong competition for Cyprus. Greece, as a brand name, is stronger and more versatile. So are some of its areas or islands as well. This means that far more investment opportunities will be on offer, especially in the sector of ​​land development. The areas that will fall under the scheme’s criteria have not been disclosed yet.

At the same time, as a larger country that has been in recession for many years it offers more investment opportunities, plus connectivity is also an important factor for foreign investors. Another advantage of Greece taken seriously in consideration by foreign investors is that one does not need a visa to travel to the US.

Source: Greece preparing citizenship by investment scheme similar to Cyprus’

Uprooting anti-Semitism in Greece, starting in the classroom | ekathimerini.com

Ongoing challenge in Greece:

Experts are urging authorities to take active measures to combat anti-Semitism in Greece after a recent study confirmed the high levels of hatred toward Jews in the country – believed to be the highest in Europe.

Αnti-Semitism, which is shown to thrive at both ends of the ideological spectrum, is believed to be particularly strong in Greece as a result of a deep-rooted sense of collective victimhood nurtured by an overly ethnocentric education system.

“Unfortunately, the findings confirm older surveys showing that Greece has rates of anti-Semitism matching those recorded in countries that neighbor Israel rather than ones in the European Union,” Elias Dinas, political scientist at the University of Oxford, told Kathimerini English Edition.

Conducted by a team of researchers based in Greece and the UK, the 50-page report brings together the findings of two opinion polls conducted in 2014 and 2015. It was published earlier this month by the Thessaloniki branch of the Heinrich Boll Foundation, a political think tank affiliated with the German Green Party.

Of the 1,000 Greeks polled, 65 percent said “Jews exploit the Holocaust to receive better treatment at global decision-making centers.” A similar percentage agreed with the statement that “Israel treats Palestinians exactly the same way that the Nazis treated the Jews” – a view seen as relativizing the Holocaust by placing it in the context of other acts of wholesale violence.

Just over 90 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that “Jews have a major influence in the business world.” About 21 percent said Jews should be prohibited from buying land.

More than 37 percent said they have zero level of trust in Jews. Overall, those polled said they trust Jews less than they trust the Orthodox Church, homosexuals, migrants or the European Union. Jewish people were said to be more reliable only when compared to the Greek Parliament, Turks and Americans.

The results echo the findings of an infamous 2014 survey by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which indicated that 68 percent of Greeks “harbor anti-Semitic attitudes” – on a par with Saudi Arabia and more so than Iran.

Valid criticism

Experts found anti-Jewish sentiment to be as strong on the far left of the political scale as on the right. But whereas anti-Semitism among the hard-right is mostly associated with denial or minimization of the Holocaust, hostility from the left is less straightforward and often animated by solidarity with the Palestinians.

“It is true that harder facets of anti-Semitism are more evident on the right, but the left is no stranger to conspiracy theory-driven anti-Semitic attitudes,” said Dinas.

Critics, mostly on the left, complain that the term “anti-Semitism” is often misused to stigmatize legitimate criticism of Israeli settlement policies. However, the report suggests that condemnations of Israel often cross the boundary from valid criticism into territory of denigration that can be considered anti-Semitic. Instances of anti-Semitism can include denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination; using symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism (for example claims that the Jews killed Christ or the classic anti-Semitic charge, known as the blood libel, that Jews use Christian blood for religious rituals) to characterize Israel or Israelis; drawing comparisons between contemporary Israeli policy and that of the Nazis; or holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.

Source: Uprooting anti-Semitism in Greece, starting in the classroom | Comment | ekathimerini.com