Immigrants march for citizenship across Greece February 1, 2010Posted by Yilan in Human rights, Human rights abuses, Yunanistan.
Tags: Greece, Immigrants
Thousands of immigrants marched in Athens and other cities across Greece Tuesday to demand that the government proceed with its promise to offer citizenship to over 130,000 second- generation immigrants living under questionable residential status. Watched by heavily armed riot police, thousands of immigrants and immigrant rights groups marched in Athens, the northern port city of Thessaloniki, and the western port city of Patras. Protesters chanted slogans calling for the government to finalize the draft bill, which will enable the children of migrants legally living in Greece for at least five years to acquire Greek citizenship. The new policy, which has found opposition among right-wing party leaders, would offer citizenship to thousands of migrant children, many of whom have no other homeland but Greece. The draft bill would also offer citizens born outside Greece the right to stand as municipal and regional councillors in local elections after at least five years of continuous legal stay in the country. Migrants make up approximately 10 per cent of Greece’s 10.5- million population. Under Greek law, naturalization requires a stay of at least 10 years and consists of costly and endless bureaucratic red tape.