Red-tape cut for Syr­ian wed­ding

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

A civil wed­ding be­tween two refugees flee­ing war in Syria, hailed as Greece’s first, will take place on the is­land of Lesvos in midAu­gust af­ter it was nearly can­celed be­cause the would-be bride could not pro­duce a birth cer­tifi­cate and an of­fi­cial doc­u­ment as­sur­ing that she is not al­ready mar­ried back home.

The 20-year-old woman, iden­ti­fied as A.A., ar­rived on the east­ern Aegean is­land with her fam­ily on De­cem­ber 27, 2016, and met her fi­ance, V.I., at the Kara Tepe camp. She is also preg­nant with his child.

Fol­low­ing the bu­reau­cratic ker­fuf­fle that nearly scup­pered their plans, the cou­ple were given the green light by a mag­is­trate who ruled that war con­sti­tutes ex­tra­or­di­nary cir­cum­stances and A.A. could not be ex­pected to pro­duce the doc­u­ments nor­mally re­quired by Greek law. “In such cases, the Greek state must show not just tol­er­ance, but flex­i­bil­ity and an ex­pan­sive spirit,” the mag­is­trate said.

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