05 February, 2010
Interior Minister Yiannis Rangoussis tabled yesterday in Parliament the bill on aliens' citizenship.
The minister stressed that the bill only concerns legal immigrants in Greece, meaning those legalised over the past 20 years with the last procedure being that of 2005-2007, when 150,000 economic immigrants were legalised, that is those who had come to Greece by January 1, 2005.
Children born in Greece from parents that both the mother and father are staying in Greece legally for at least five years take Greek citizenship automatically.
The children of legal immigrants who have not been born in Greece but who have attended successfully lessons at a Greek school for six years can also receive Greek citizenship.
For the first time, the right to vote in first stage local elections is enacted for expatriates and immigrants staying in the country legally, provided that they have final residence permits. Immigrants will be able to be elected up to the post of municipal councillor on condition that they can speak the Greek language adequately.
The Interior ministry assesses that the number of those being able to register in election catalogues amounts to 266,250 people, that corresponds to 0.65 percent of voters.
Source: Athens News Agency