Spain Scraps “Golden Visa”

I realise it is not clever to comment on the politics of someone else’s country but here’s a slice of common sense from Spain where the “Golden Visa” is to be scrapped. Currently 500,000 EUR can buy any foreigner a sizeable home in that country, but enough is enough. Last year foreign buyers accounted for 15% of all house sales in Spain. Highest number on record. In the meantime in Spain as with my own country, there’s a housing crisis and every bonnie corner is up for grabs, second or third homes in some cases. The cash rich offloading before a Labour government comes after them? It is hurting young people the most in Spain as it is in Scotland. The BBC ran a story about young people in Spain living out of their cars in areas dominated by expats. How wrong! Though in the Scottish Highlands we are not far off that reality, particularly on Skye in summer months. In Spain the government has decided to do something about it.

“…in major cities that are facing a highly stressed market and where it’s almost impossible to find decent housing for those who already live, work and pay their taxes there…”

Reuters report prime minister Pedro Sanchez as saying.

Wealthy foreigners in Spain can no longer buy their right to remain there. This is great news. Those who live in a place and contribute to it should be rewarded, not the highest bidder.

Thought you cannot buy residency in Scotland the sentiment of redressing the imbalance should similarly be made policy there. My belief is Scotland would never follow suit, specifically in the Highlands where my feeling is the (totally inept) Highland Council´s long term plan is a form of Clearances Mk. II. If only the pesky locals would get out of the way of AirBnBs, Danish owned forestry, Norwegian fish farms, electricity pylons! If they do successfully run those who already live, work and pay their taxes back into the larger towns and cities it’ll probably make for a tidier countryside. Less decrepit schools and GP practices. Who cares about workers in the wee hotels and Inns – Japan has showed us how to do vending machines for practically everything anyway. Concentrate the spending in Inverness and some public conveniences on the public convenience that is Skye. More breathing space for the few, certainly, those who can certainly afford to hoover up such deals as a one bedroom home in Glenelg (not even Skye), offers over 220,000 GBP! There is no “Golden Visa” in Scotland, no right to remain can be bought. But certainly there’s a lot to be sold. Who is cashing in?

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