Parliament divided on EU Golden Visa report

  • Lusa
  • 28 February 2019

Portuguese political parties have different opinions about the EU's report on Golden Visas with left-wing parties arguing for their abolition, while right-wing groups are asking for more supervision.

Portugal’s governing party, the Socialist Party (PS), has not commented on the European report on financial crimes and tax evasion, approved on Wednesday by the European Parliament, which proposes the abolition of Golden Visas.

The risks of these programmes are bigger than the potential benefits, the EU said.

In Lisbon, the first reaction came from the Left Bloc (BE), after the rejection some weeks ago of their draft law to eliminate visas of that kind.

“The European Parliament recommended the abolition of Golden Visas precisely because the virtual economic advantages for member states do not compensate the risks”, the party’s MP José Manuel Pureza told the media.

“We will bring this issue up during the next electoral campaign”, he promised.

The Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) also favours the ending of Golden Visas.

“We voted against the law that created golden visas and in favour of its elimination”, he recalled, adding that the government should take the initiative and remove golden visas from Portuguese law.

The same opinion is shared by The Greens (PEV). The party’s MP José Luís Ferreira underlined the party supports the abolition of golden visas. “They are still in force because PS, PSD, CDS and PAN voted against its elimination”, he said.

On the other hand, right-wing parties ask for more supervision, but want to maintain the golden visas system.

“We agree to enhanced monitoring and supervision, but not to the abolition of the programme”, the social democratic MP Carlos Peixoto stressed.

Over €4 billion have already been invested in Portugal due to golden visas, which make them very important to the country’s development, he said.

The People’s Party (CDS) criticised the EU for interfering in national subjects.

“The programmes to attract investment should be Portugal’s responsibility and must never be decided in Brussels”, the party’s MP Pedro Mota Soares highlighted.