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The bill regarding the Greek citizenship and immigrants was introduced in Parliament

05 February 2010 / 15:02:23  GRReporter
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The bill regarding granting Greek citizenship to immigrants was introduced for voting in the Parliament, after little changes were made related to the application requirements. According to the changes it is necessary that the applicants speak Greek on a satisfactory level, three recommendation letters are needed from Greeks, who live in the same neighborhood and the immigrants will also have to undergo mandatory examination before a committee.

The new bill will allow more than 500 000 immigrants who are legally residing in the country, as well as 250 000 children from the so called second generation to receive citizenship. Along with this the way is opening for receiving voting rights for the next local election in the fall when 266 000 Greeks from the Diaspora who returned in their country and immigrants will be able to vote.

The integration of the immigrants is of “national, social and economic necessity” said the Minister of foreign affairs Giannis Rangusis, who presented the changes in the initial version of the bill, which was introduced for a public discussion. According to the data of the ministry if the Greeks from the Diaspora who have received citizenship at their return in the native land would be excluded, than emigrants from third countries who receive the right to vote in the elections are only 0,65% of the population of the country.

According to the bill the right to citizenship could have all immigrants who reside legally in Greece for five years, despite the desire of the opposition for the extending of this term to eight years. After a five years residence in Greece, the immigrants will have the right to apply for citizenship and expect the decision in two years time.

A special regulation in the law exists for the immigrants who have arrived in the country after the publication of the bill. They will have to live in Greece for seven years in order to be able to apply for citizenship and the decision is published within a year. The children who are not born in the country will be able to receive citizenship after a six years training course and then receive the citizenship at the time when they attain their majority.

Tags: Politics immigrants citizenship elections second generation
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