The number of people who acquired Greek citizenship more than doubled in the past two years, mainly due to the implementation of a June 2015 law benefiting children born in Greece to foreign parents and thos who have been in the Greek education system for a certain number of years.
According to an annual report from the Interior Ministry’s Special Secretariat for Citizenship, 33,718 people were granted Greek citizenship in 2017, against 33,487 in 2016 and the much lower number of 14,178 the year before that.
The vast majority of the recipients in 2016 and 2015 were Albanians (86 pct), followed by Ukrainians (1.5 pct) and Russians (1.2 pct), according to Eurostat data. The same trend was seen in other EU countries, with 995,000 persons acquiring the citizenship of a member state in 2016, up from 841,000 the previous year.
Most of the “new” Europeans were registered in Italy (201,600), followed by Spain (150,900) and the United Kingdom (149,400), France (119,200) and Germany (112,800).