New bill sets out rules for mi­grant cit­i­zen­ship

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

A new draft bill pre­pared by the In­te­rior Min­istry gives all sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion im­mi­grants liv­ing legally in Greece the right to ap­ply for cit­i­zen­ship, whether they were born in the coun­try or have com­pleted cer­tain lev­els within the Greek ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem, Kathimerini has learned.

Once ap­proved, the new bill will es­sen­tially fill the gap left by the re­vo­ca­tion of the so­called Ragousis law, which had al­lowed sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion mi­grants to ap­ply for Greek cit­i­zen­ship and to stand in lo­cal elec­tions.

The new bill sets out three al­ter­na­tive pre­req­ui­sites for the ac­qui­si­tion of cit­i­zen­ship. The ap­pli­cant must ei­ther have com­pleted the com­pul­sory min­i­mum ed­u­ca­tion in the Greek sys­tem (pri­mary school and ju­nior high), have com­pleted six aca­demic years in sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion (ju­nior and se­nior high) or have fin­ished high school and grad­u­ated from a Greek univer­sity or tech­ni­cal col­lege. Mi­grants as young as 16 will be able to ap­ply and will be el­i­gi­ble for cit­i­zen­ship from the age of 18.

It is un­clear ex­actly how many peo­ple will be el­i­gi­ble for cit­i­zen­ship un­der the new reg­u­la­tions. Min­istry sources in­di­cated yes­ter­day that at least 50,000 ful­fill the cri­te­ria. The Greek Fo­rum of Mi­grants has es­ti­mated that there are some 200,000 sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion im­mi­grants in Greece.

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