NEWS

Cohabitation law promoted

Justice Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis yesterday sent a note to MPs to clarify the «philosophy» of a new cohabitation law for unmarried couples that has invoked the ire of certain representatives of the Orthodox Church. The letter was sent as part of a campaign to boost awareness about the «deeply social» reforms which give partners who live together the same rights as married couples and protect children born to unmarried couples. «The cohabitation law aims to regulate a real situation, to minimize its negative social impact and make citizens more responsible for the issues arising from their cohabitation,» the letter said. Hatzigakis noted that a growing number of couples are choosing cohabitation over marriage and that 120,000 babies (5 percent of the annual total) are born out of wedlock. Unmarried mothers face «major problems,» Hatzigakis observed, noting that the new law would grant them all the social benefits that their married counterparts enjoy.