Citizenship bill approved despite ANEL opposition

The junior partner in the governing coalition, Independent Greeks (ANEL), on Wednesday broke ranks with leftist SYRIZA on a bill that foresees second-generation migrants being eligible for citizenship once they have enrolled at elementary school, provided one of their parents has a residence permit.

Although ANEL voted against the bill in principle, it passed with the support of SYRIZA, centrist Potami and PASOK. The legislation was also rejected by conservative New Democracy and neofascist Golden Dawn while the Communist Party (KKE) voted present.

Earlier in the day, Alternate Immigration Policy Minister Tasia Christodoulopoulou defended the bill in Parliament, saying that migrants who are permanent residents of Greece and their children should have the right to claim citizenship.

“We insist on this compromise, which is both viable and realistic,” she said about the bill, ignoring objections from opposition lawmakers.