New migrant citizenship legislation expected following Council of State ruling

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Wednesday ordered the immediate implementation of a decision reached by the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, regarding recent legislation which granted citizenship and voting rights to second-generation immigrants residing in Greece.

New legislation compatible with the court’s decision is expected to be presented by the Ministry of Interior within the next seven days, according to reports.

Known as the Ragousis law, after former Minister of Interior Yiannis Ragousis drew it up, the law was ratified by Parliament in early 2010, allowing those who had been born to immigrant parents legally living in Greece for five years to be granted Greek citizenship prodived they had studied at a Greek school for at least six years.

On Tuesday a ruling by the Council of State questioned whether this kind of criteria was suitable for determining a person’s citizenship and whether stronger ties with Greece should be required.

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