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Tourism in Portugal and Malta rated as the least affected by the war in Ukraine

Portugal and Malta are the countries least affected by the war in Ukraine in terms of economic impact due to the imposed sanctions, a study by the European Commission has shown.

The sanctions imposed on Russia in connection with the invasion of Ukraine have left many EU member states affected in several areas, such as supply, rising energy and fuel prices, and inflation.

While Portugal and Malta remain the least affected, the Baltic countries and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe have been hard hit economically by the war, especially due to gas supplies from Russia.

Cyprus, on the other hand, was hit hard by the war in Ukraine as it served as a popular holiday destination for Russians, and tourism declined after the invasion of the country, while the financial sector suffered due to high levels of Russian-owned financial assets that were associated with the island.

But even Cyprus, whose tourism provides 14 percent of the country’s economy, has not been hit as hard as Poland, which has been the most vulnerable country due to economic shocks caused by the Russian market and dependence on Russian energy carriers for gas for electricity. Despite this, Poland received the largest number of Ukrainian citizens – more than six million people.

However, Portugal has suffered the least, mainly because the Portuguese economy has been mainly linked to the EU so far this year (5.8 percent), according to EU Commission forecasts. In addition, Portugal is considered the country with the lowest inflation rate at the moment – it is 4.4 percent.

“Because Portugal does not have a direct impact on the affected region, the risks are mostly indirect, as inflation affects raw materials, fuel safety, and uncertainty about global demand,” the European Commission notes.

On the other hand, Malta has a “golden visa” scheme that allows non-residents and non-citizens to obtain citizenship in exchange for predetermined payments without the applicants having to be connected to Malta.

After several condemning cases from European authorities, especially condemning the scheme of exchanging European valuables for money, on March 2, Malta announced the suspension of the program for citizens of Russia and Belarus until further notice.

Malta, like Portugal, is mostly visited by British citizens, followed by Italians, Germans, and French.

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