With the Fast Track Law (3894/2010), the Greek Government provides the international and Greek investors with a supportive and transparent set of investment policies, procedures and administrative tools for the fast paced implementation of big scale public and private projects.
Through the Fast Track Law, important factors that obstruct major investment in Greece are abolished.
Bureaucracy and the complexity of legislation, which today make investors reluctant and significantly delay the implementation of large scale projects, are eliminated.
The objective of the Fast Track Law is the development of investment plans that create long-term and wide-ranging positive results which significantly benefit the Greek Economy. In turn, this will lead to the creation of new jobs, a modern infrastructure, advanced transport and telecom networks, and better services to citizens.
The Acceleration and Transparency of Implementation of Strategic Investments Law eases businesses to proceed without bureaucracy, legal framework complexity which, to date, have discouraged investors and significantly delayed the implementation of major projects.
Under the law “Creation of a Development Friendly Environment for Strategic and Private Investments” (4146/2013) Greece’s successful Fast Track Law is enhanced and broadened, simplifying the licensing procedure which is an important factor for strategic investments.
The new Fast Track law streamlines the licensing procedure for Strategic Investments, making the process easier, smoother and more attractive. It is important to note that the Fast Track process is already in effect and operative and that the new, current law is an amended and enhanced iteration, responding to market needs.
Key features of the new Law (4146/2013) include:
• The General Secretariat for Strategic and Private Investments will undertake all licensing procedures, including the issuance of certain licenses internally. The licensing system for investment plans is facilitated through the establishment of a General Directorate of Strategic Investments
• The framework of Strategic Investments is broadened, and given that supporting companies already in operation is considered crucial for the national economy, they may also be included in the Strategic Investments framework. For example, companies that currently operate in Greece can apply for induction in the process if their business plan guarantees the retention of at least 600 jobs
• The role of the Inter-ministerial Committee of Strategic Investments (I.C.S.I.) is strengthened
• Invest in Greece can propose to the I.C.S.I. the submission of investments that have significant positive impact on the Greek economy even though they may not fulfill some of the criteria set by the law
• A more efficient and legally robust process for handling requested deviations (planning, building terms)
• Tax incentives, such as ensuring a stable tax regime and granting tax exemptions and 10% discount on the special duty imposed on some licenses
• Abolition of the letter of guarantee
• Installation Permit and Operation Permit issued by the Minister for Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks within one month
• In the event a permit is not issued within the required deadline, the Minister for Development is authorized to issue it within one month
• The granting of residence permits for executives of Strategic Investments and their families. In parallel, third-country citizens and their family members, who proceed in buying property in Greece, the value of which exceeds €250,000, may obtain residence permits.
Recognizing the need to have a comprehensive legal framework for all land use in Greece in relation to strategic investments, Greece has introduced new legislation (4146/2013) to address specific needs in this area. Special Spatial Development Plans of Strategic Investments allow the State to intervene in cases where the use of specific land is deemed vital for an investment to proceed.
Special Spatial Development Plans of Strategic Investments are introduced regarding Strategic Investments on private properties and cover the issuance of Presidential Decrees regarding the land use, the type investment admissible on the properties, and the location of and the granting of permission for seashore and coastline infrastructure. This provision will apply according to the implementation of the Special Spatial Development Plans of Public Property, of Law 3986/2011 regarding public property. The implementation of this framework is carried out upon the investor’s request.