Sunday February 1, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
16o C
13o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Migrant groups slam government over Greek citizenship law

Representatives of the Nigerian community in Greece were among the 19 groups that held a press conference in central Athens on Tuesday to appeal against the recent ruling regarding migrants' rights to Greek citizenship.

Nineteen migrant rights groups gathered in central Athens on Tuesday evening at a press conference hosted by the journalists' union ESHEA to appeal against a recent ruling by the country's highest administrative court over a law granting second-generation migrants the right to apply for Greek citizenship.

The Council of State on February 5 deemed unconstitutional the law, which was passed almost three years ago and which is known as the Ragousis law after former Interior Minister Yiannis Ragousis.

In a joint statement, the 19 migrant groups accused the government of "adopting a right-wing agenda" with its decision to challenge the law.

"For the first time, that law addressed issues concerning the children of migrants, taking a few timid steps toward granting citizenship... steps that other countries in the European Union took a lot earlier and to a much more advanced degree," the statement said.

The citizenship law was ratified by Parliament in early 2010, allowing those who had been born to immigrant parents legally living in Greece for at least five years to be granted Greek citizenship provided they had studied at a Greek school for a minimum of six years.

Greece's conservative-led government stopped granting citizenship under Ragousis criteria in December, in anticipation of the Council of State's ruling being made public. The decision irked coalition partners PASOK and Democratic Left.

"Two hundred thousand children are left in limbo, without papers, without rights, without hope," the migrant groups said. "These are the children of migrants born in Greece or who came to the country at a young age. These are children we often call second-generation migrants, when the fact is that Greece is the only homeland they have ever known."

Meanwhile, the Council of State’s decision could mean that some of those who were granted Greek citizenship in the last three years will lose their rights.

The statement added that of the some 200,000 people who are eligible for citizenship under the Ragousis law, 6,072 have succeeded so far, or just 3 percent.

"Now the government wants to reduce or even abolish this ridiculous percentage, which places Greece way at the bottom of the EU scale on the issue," the statement said.

Last month, Deputy Interior Minister Haralambos Athanassiou said that the Ragousis law would be replaced with legislation that would require migrants to show a “genuine bond” with Greece and prove they had assimilated into Greek culture.

"Being granted citizenship via a confusion of prerequisites and bureaucratic procedures will be an untenable dream for those who wish to apply," the migrant groups said, adding that the only group applauding the Council of State's decision is the "neo-Nazis of Golden Dawn," in reference to the ultranationalist party that was elected into Parliament in June on an anti-migrant platform.

"The basic reasoning of the government and the judges is to render Greece unattractive to migrants. The fact is that it has already stopped being attractive because of the deep economic crisis. Another fact is that an increasing percentage of Greeks - especially young Greeks - are preparing to or have already emigrated to other countries looking for that which their country has for two decades withheld from others: the hope of a better life," the statement said.

The migrant groups called for a new law that would improve citizenship rights.

"People who have lived for years in our country, who have families, who work and pay social security contributions and taxes, who are our friends and neighbors, have every right to become visible," the statement said.

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday February 27, 2013 (11:40)  
Europe waits for proposals from Athens
Notes provide more clues on prison breakout scheme
Drug prices are falling but volume sold remains high
Tsipras plays down chance of rift
ECB’s Constancio signals Greek waiver may end if program dropped
Vitor Constancio signaled that the European Central Bank stands ready to end its acceptance of Greece’s junk-rated debt for bank funding if the government drops out of an aid program. If a n...
Greece starts countdown to cash crunch saying bailout over
Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis set the clock ticking on Greece’s standoff with the euro area on Friday saying he’s ready to take his chances without a financial backstop rather than submi...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Panathinaikos preserves perfect home record
After yet another great performance at home, Panathinaikos defeated Galatasaray 86-77 in Athens on Friday to get to three wins in five games at the Euroleague top-16. The Greek champion shoo...
SOCCER
Gattuso: Unpaid OFI players couldn´t buy food
Former coach Gennaro Gattuso has lifted the lid on the plight of crisis-club OFI Crete which has been banned from playing in the Super League until it clears mounting debts with its staff. T...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Unyielding truth
Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis’s recent statement that “growth does not mean having Porsche Cayennes in the narrow streets of Greece” has made something of an impression and is now being ...
EDITORIAL
This is not a game
Greece’s negotiations with its partners and creditors must be conducted in such a way as to safeguard the country’s real economy, a vital sector which prior to the elections had appeared to ...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Europe waits for proposals from Athens
2. Notes provide more clues on prison breakout scheme
3. Drug prices are falling but volume sold remains high
4. Tsipras plays down chance of rift
5. Ex-revenues chief Theoharis claimes political interference
6. Journalist to head Greece´s National Intelligence Service
more news
Today
This Week
1. US to work closely with Greece and EU to resolve differences, says White House
2. Merkel rejects debt writedown for Greece
3. Greek bank debt plummets as investors head for the exit
4. Greek markets plunge as SYRIZA digs in on challenge to austerity
5. Tsipras says Greece to repay ECB, IMF, reach deal with euro area
6. Greece seeks EU allies but Germany holds firm
Today
This Week
1. Greek Elections 2015 | LIVE
2. SYRIZA heads for historic victory but without majority
3. SYRIZA's win will test institutions
4. Greek Elections 2015: The day after | LIVE
5. EU must accept that Greek debt relief is inevitable
6. Athens may veto further EU sanctions against Russia
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.