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Excerpts from Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs M. Varvitsiotis’ speech at the Delphi Economic Forum International Conference titled ‘Greece: Competing for Global Talent’ (23 February 2021)
During the International Digital Conference ‘Greece: Competing for Global Talent’, organised by Delphi Economic Forum, Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis gave a speech as part of the special session on engaging and attracting digital nomads to Greece and announced the ‘Blue Carpet Policy’, an integrated policy to bolster Greece’s openness “in order to attract not only digital nomads, but also investment- and business-oriented people in general”.
As Mr Varvitsiotis stressed, visas for digital nomads are yet another component of the comprehensive ‘Blue Carpet Policy’, which was designed as a simple, direct, functional and digital process. The Alternate Minister underlined that “the digital transformation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, currently under way by digitising control and performance procedures and upgrading the human capital of the MFA, will contribute to this goal”.
More specifically, the Alternate Minister announced that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be creating a “digital nomad visa” in cooperation with the Ministry of Migration and Asylum, aimed at “persons who wish to establish themselves in our country and, with laptop in hand, make an active contribution to economic life around the globe”. These are “high-income persons who produce and operate in the global economic environment”. In fact, he stressed that the digital nomad challenge has been further amplified due to Brexit, “as thousands of people have decided to leave Great Britain to gain access to the European system, and are seeking a new place of establishment”.
Moreover, Mr Varvitsiotis underlined that the MFA aims at the restoration and growth of the Greek economy “by leveraging the MFA's abilities in order to attract more visitors to our country, better promotion and, of course, access to what we call residence in Greece”. “We have already instituted the ‘Business Visa’ for the entrepreneurial world’, adding that “we adopted the ‘Student Visa’ in order to enable foreign students from beyond the borders of the European Union to come study in Greece”.
Concluding his speech, the Alternate Minister noted that “this will be put to practice once these interventions are integrated into a comprehensive policy that will greet all foreigners who wish to become established in Greece with a hearty ‘Welcome’”.