With the Law "Acceleration and Transparency of Implementation of Strategic Investments" or Fast Track Law (3894/2010), the Greek Government provides the international and Greek investment community with a stable and transparent set of investment rules, procedures and administrative structures for the implementation of large scale public and private projects. The Law aims to abolish critical obstacles that have inhibited major investment in Greece. Bureaucracy, the complexity of legislation, and lack of transparency, all of which today deter investors and significantly delay the implementation of large scale projects, are being eliminated.
The objective of the Law is the development of investment plans that create long-term and wide-ranging positive results and that have a significant beneficial impact on the National Economy. In turn, these will lead to the creation of new jobs, a more modern infrastructure, advanced transport and telecommunication networks, and better services to citizens.
Under the law “Creation of a Development Friendly Environment for Strategic and Private Investments” (4146/2013) of the Ministry for Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks, Greeces successful Fast Track Law has been enhanced and broadened, simplifying the licensing procedure—an important initiative for strategic investments.
This 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 operating and that the current law is an amended and enhanced iteration, responding to market requirements.
Key features of the 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 process for investment plans will be facilitated through the establishment of a General Directorate of Strategic Investments.
• The framework for Strategic Investments is broadened, and given that supporting companies already in operation are 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 Interministerial Committee of Strategic Investments (I.C.S.I.) is reinforced.
• 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 paravolo special duty imposed on some licenses.
• Abolition of the letter of guarantee.
• Installation Permit and Operation Permit issued by the Minister for Development 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 real estate property in Greece, the value of which exceeds €250,000, may obtain residence permits… read more
• Centralised mapping of licensing procedures is established for the first time.
Special Spatial Development Plans of Strategic Investments
Recognising the need to have a comprehensive legal framework for all land use in Greece in relation to strategic investments, Greece has introduced 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 investors request.
Competencies of Enterprise Greece
According to the legislation, Enterprise Greece is the competent authority to facilitate the Procedure of Strategic Investments, being responsible for the following:
• Accepts applications for the introduction of investments in the Procedure
• Reviews the business plan and its impact on the Greek economy, and evaluates if the plan meets the criteria for the characterization of the investment as Strategic
• Asks for complementary data from the investors
• Submits an opinion to the Interministerial Committee for Strategic Investments (I.C.S.I.) concerning the inclusion of investment proposals, or not, to the Procedure, in order for the I.C.S.I. to reach its decision
• Collects the administrative payments provided for by the Law and the Procedure
• Informs the I.C.S.I. about specific instances of delays or difficulties, and offers solutions
• Monitors and evaluates the implementation progress of strategic investments and informs the I.C.S.I. about the progress of the investment
• Prepares the tender dossier for public Strategic Investments and proceeds to the provided tender processes for the nomination of a temporary contractor
• May undertake, following an I.C.S.I. decision or a ruling of its Board of Directors, the drafting of final investment proposals of minimum requirements, which are included in the procedures of public strategic investments
• Receives from investors the application and the relevant documentation for the residence permit in case of Strategic Investments and within 5 days provides information to the Secretary General for Strategic and Private Investments pertaining to the relationship of the applicants with the project owner of the Strategic Investment.