Citizenship bill to apply to ‘fewer than 100,000,’ minister says

Fewer than 100,000 people will benefit from a new bill foreseeing the granting of Greek citizenship to second-generation immigrants, Alternate Minister for Immigration Policy Tasia Christodoulopoulou told a parliamentary committee that started debating the draft legislation on Tuesday.

The number of beneficiaries “won’t even reach 100,000, including children,” Christodoulopoulou said in comments before the House’s committee for public administration, public order and justice.

New Democracy’s Giorgos Georgantas objected to the bill, which he said would “give the wrong message,” adding that “we are going down a dangerous road.”

There were also said to be some objections from the ranks of Independent Greeks, SYRIZA’s coalition partner.

Christodoulopoulou defended the bill, calling on Parliament to send “a message of social inclusion and acceptance,” but she indicated that it could be amended before it goes to a vote, probably next week. “The greatest possible consensus should be achieved,” she said.

The bill stipulates that applicants must have been enrolled at a Greek primary school and that their parents must have lived legally in Greece for five years prior to the applicant’s birth.