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Greece grants citizenship to 100,000 children of immigrants

10 June 2015 / 14:06:51  GRReporter
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According to Deputy Minister for Migration Policy Tassia Cristodoulopoulou, it has been estimated that up to 100,000 children of immigrants can acquire Greek citizenship. This will be possible due to the provisions in the new bill that the relevant commission of Greek parliament discussed yesterday.

Objections to major provisions, however, expressed by the representatives of the coalition partner Independent Greeks at that, forced Tasia Cristodoulopoulou to imply at the end of the meeting that there would be changes in order "to achieve the widest possible consensus while voting the bill." The plenary vote on the bill will probably take place next week.

As reported by the Deputy Minister for Migration Policy, there are three conditions for acquiring Greek citizenship:

1) at least one of the child’s parents should have legally resided in Greece for five years,

2) the child was born during these five years,

3) the child has been enrolled in the first grade and continues to attend school at the time of application.

At the same time, the bill provides for granting citizenship to children without one of their parents having lived in Greece for five years as well as to children who have arrived in Greece at a very early age and have completed the 9-year compulsory education or secondary education. The bill also provides for granting citizenship to young people who have attained their majority and graduated from universities.

'Previous' immigrants
  
During the meeting, Tassia Cristodoulopoulou stressed that the bill concerns "previous immigrants who have already legalized their stay in Greece in different ways", not new immigrants, "We know that nobody of the new wave of immigrants wants to stay in Greece. All are rushing to leave. Nobody wants to stay in the country and settle in this way," she added.

According to representative of New Democracy George Georgandas, the bill "is sending wrong messages to all" at a time when the problem of immigrants is very acute at that. He added, however, that the opposition would reserve the right to vote on the bill in general. However, a little later, Adonis Georgiadis implied that the vote would be against the bill, adding harsh criticisms to the objections voiced by Charilaos Athanasiou also from New Democracy.

The representatives of the Potami party proposed some changes, such as to stipulate the completion of primary school, not just the enrolment of the child. The Greek Communist Party insisted on full rights for all immigrant children born in Greece. According to Golden Dawn, the government is trying to do away with Greek society.

Therefore, only the members of SYRIZA, Independent Greeks and PASOK made positive statements about the new bill. Non-parliamentary institutions have been invited to express their position today and the discussion on the separate articles of the bill will take place this afternoon.

Tags: ImmigrantsChildrenGreek citizenshipBillParliament
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