| COPENHAGEN, March 30
COPENHAGEN, March 30 Denmark may relax its
strict ban on foreigners buying holiday homes in a bid to boost
demand in rural areas, Finance Minister Kristian Jensen told
Reuters on Thursday.
Fearing an influx of buyers, the Nordic nation won the right
to block foreign house purchases when it negotiated membership
of the European Union in 1972.
But with low demand and stagnant prices for holiday cottages
since 2012, and at a time when many Danes migrate to urban
areas, opening up the market to foreigners could breathe life
into rural economies, Jensen said.
In particular, exemptions from the current rules could be
made for certain regions and for a limited time as an
"We don't want to change the general ban ... it can be
possible to open for sales to foreigners in certain areas of the
country," Jensen said.
"But we will not do so if it threatens maintaining the
general ban for foreigners to acquire a Danish holiday cottage
everywhere," he added.
The EU-sceptic Danish People's Party, which normally
supports the minority government, said the proposal should be
scrapped, arguing it could lead the Court of Justice of the
European Union to lift the ban altogether.
"The government runs a huge risk by doing this," People's
Party leader Kristian Thulesen Dahl told Reuters.
The price of Danish homes fell sharply in the wake of the
2008 financial crisis, and while large urban centres have seen a
recovery in recent years this has not yet extended to the
(Editing by Terje Solsvik)