Greece is Retroactively Adjusting its Records: Here Are the Changes

Greece is Retroactively Adjusting its Records: Here Are the Changes

Churches in Oia, Santorini island in Greece, on a sunny day.

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The Greek government has a habit of changing its data presentations from time to time.

2020 is no exception. Greece’s Ministry of Migration has decided to adjust data going back to 2014, making it harder to track migration trends for that region.

What the New Changes Show

First, Greece provided golden visas to 700 main applicants between 5th January and 1st June this year.

But, as a result from an upward adjustment for 2020’s total, many of those 700 have been reassigned to 2020’s stats.

Originally, the 2020 total was at 403 main applicants. It’s now recorded as 938 after adjustments.

As for the current 2021 values, they’ve’ been adjusted down to 117.

There are serious implications to the new changes. For starters, the non-adjusted values imply a yearly fall in applicant approvals by 89% (between 2019 and 2020).

With the new adjustments, the fall rates are still severe, reaching 73.5%.

In fact, here are the approval values after the new retroactive changes:

  • 2013 (21)
  • 2014 (338)
  • 2015 (412)
  • 2016 (483)
  • 2017 (955)
  • 2018 (1893)
  • 2019 (3535)
  • 2020 (938)
  • 2021 (117)

Why Did Greece Modify its Migration Data?

The reasons aren’t clear. But it’s probably for better representation of processing times per main applicant.

That is, an application lodged in a specific year isn’t recorded until next year in government stats. Even then, they’re attributed to their year of filing.

With that adjustment, it’s clear that Greek Authorities spent a significant amount of resources on processing old backlogs.

They also seem to have spent time on re-organizing their application data and the year they belong to.

But this still doesn’t explain the thoroughness of revisions, and why they’re going back all the way to 2013.

After all, applications submitted back then should’ve been already settled.

Implications of the Modified Data

The new data shows that, while Greece did experience a sharp drop two years ago, it seems to be slowly restoring demand.

Starting with 2013, the program had a total of 8692 accepted main applicants, with 17,431 dependents.

With the adjustments, Greece’s program is the 6th best in worldwide performance (total accepted applicant counts).

It’s the second best preforming in Europe, with Portugal taking the lead. Portugal thus far ranks 5th worldwide.

Before the adjustments, Greece ranked 8th worldwide, which shows that the data may have been modified to better improve the Greek program’s public image.

Where’s the Demand Coming From?

Most comes from China. With dependents included, accepted Chinese applicants represent 73% of the total.

Next comes Russia, but it takes a minor position compared to China, only at 5%. The following three countries to be represented are Lebanon, Egypt and Iran.