“The Macedonian people will become the bosses of Chalkidiki,” ran the headline of the Australian Macedonian Weekly last week, in a somewhat confused interpretation of new laws passed by the Greek Government on 22 June, concerning the ability of non-EU citizens to purchase land and property in Greece.
Prior to the new legislation, potential buyers from outside the European Union had to gain approval to purchase property in Greece from the Greek Defence Ministry. The Hellenic Parliament’s legislation still does not enable foreign investors and residents in Greece automatic eligibility for Greek citizenship, and continues to limit legal and civic rights to standard arrangements for overseas investors.
The story, originally published in Skopje by the Dnevnik newspaper, failed to provide substance to the headline’s invective, omitting any evidence that there was an army of property developers ready and waiting in FYROM bound for Chalkidiki (or any other location in Greece) with chequebooks in hand. Intimating that FYROM citizens will now find the path easier should they wish to invest their denar in Greece, the current exchange rate may not be in their favour; 1 denar is equal to approximately 0.016 euro.