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Want a European passport? Consider buying a house in Spain

The financially troubled nation is following in the footsteps of Ireland and Portugal, allowing residency permits be given to those purchasing houses over 160,000 euros.

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The financially troubled nation is following in the footsteps of Ireland and Portugal, allowing residency permits be given to those purchasing houses over 160,000 euros ($207,000). (Cristina Quincler/AFP/Getty Images)

Spain is set to pass a law to give foreign homebuyers permanent residency.

The financially troubled nation is following in the footsteps of Ireland and Portugal, allowing residency permits to be given to those purchasing houses over 160,000 euros ($207,000).

The New York Times said the move is an attempt to reduce the country's bloated housing stock after a real estate bubble, which has left the country's economy in shambles.

The move is likely aimed at Russian and Chinese investors, who have strict visa requirements for entering and spending time in Europe.

Spain's crisis has seen tens of thousands of homes taken over by banks after owners could not pay their mortgages.

Ireland and Portugal faced similar problems with a housing bubble and offered somewhat steeper versionsof the same deal.

In Ireland and Portugal housing eligible for the deal needs to be more than 400,000 and 500,000 euros respectively, according to Quartz.

Latvia also recently passed similar legislation but requires a purchase of 140,000 euros in a city and 70,000 euros in the countryside.

The Spanish plan was unveiled by Trade Ministry Secretary Jaime Garcia-Legaz and should be approved in the coming weeks,said the Associated Press.

The prime minister of Spain said he hopes the plan will revive the country's ailing construction industry and create jobs.

Earlier this month, the government suspended housing evictions in cases of extreme need after massive protests.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/spain/121129/want-european-passport-consider-buying-house-spain