Red tape curbs cit­i­zen­ship claims

Only half of ap­pli­ca­tions have been ap­proved since law was passed in 2015

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Two years af­ter the left­ist-led gov­ern­ment passed much-hyped leg­is­la­tion al­low­ing chil­dren who have been born to mi­grant par­ents in Greece to ob­tain Greek cit­i­zen­ship, it is es­ti­mated that only half of the 58,000 ap­pli­ca­tions have been ap­proved by the au­thor­i­ties.

Mean­while, it is es­ti­mated that thou­sands of sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion mi­grants who are for­mally el­i­gi­ble for Greek cit­i­zen­ship have failed to sub­mit a claim to the au­thor­i­ties.

Red tape, which can in some cases de­lay the whole pro­ce­dure for years, is mostly to blame for the low rate of cit­i­zen­ship claims.

Chris­tos Ya­coubi, who was born in Greece in 1997, read his name in the Gov­ern­ment Gazette (FEK) yes­ter­day af­ter au­thor­i­ties fi­nally green-lighted his claim. He sub­mit­ted his ap­pli­ca­tion 20 months ago. How­ever, he still has to join the mu­nic­i­pal as well as the male regis­ter – which is a re­quire­ment if you want an iden­tity card.

“The wait­ing time is a min­i­mum of five months,” an of­fi­cial from the non­govern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tion Gen­er­a­tion 2.0 told Kathimerini.

“All that is hap­pen­ing when you are at an age when you have to make very im­por­tant de­ci­sions about your life, like what stud­ies you will pur­sue or where you will look for work,” said 27-year-old Sebene Eschete, who was born in Greece to Ethiopian par­ents.

“You can­not just say, ‘OK, I’ll just sit around wait­ing for a cou­ple of years,’” she said.

Greece’s cit­i­zen­ship law was passed in June 2015 af­ter the Coun­cil of State deemed ear­lier leg­is­la­tion, also known as the Ragousis law, as un­con­sti­tu­tional.

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