Northern Epirotes on the way to citizenship

Of some 29,000 citizenship applications by ethnic Greeks from Albania that have been outstanding since 1990, about a fifth are being processed following the launch of a government naturalization drive, Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos said yesterday. A total of 6,662 applicants have been summoned to update their details since last November when the government introduced its drive to offer citizenship to tens of thousands of ethnic Greek immigrants from Albania (known in Greece as Northern Epirotes), provided they have a special identity card certifying their status. Applicants can mail their documents to the ministry to save time, Pavlopoulos said. Around 200,000 Northern Epirotes are believed to possess the required identity card certifying their status as ethnic Greeks.

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