Migration and Struggle in Greece

Posts Tagged ‘citizenship’

Citizenship bill: one more bitter provision.

Posted by clandestina on 4 March 2010

On the new citizenship bill now discussed at the parliament we have already posted here and here.   The current version seems to be even worse than the ones that gave rise to so many reactions for their insufficieny and calculated segregation effects.

Many of the conditions for eligibility demanding political and social conformity have already been pointed out (click on the links above).

What is new in the now discussed version is a small addition providing that the rationale of the state for rejecting an application will not be made known to the applicant when involving  issues of the “general policy of the country”.

Which means that applications by whole categories of immigrants could be rejected in bulk and on no justification, should them immigrants, for instance, come from countries  Greece has disputes against or wants to put pressure on, etc.

Immigrants amidst the process of citizenship acquisitions are thus turned into leviers of foreign policy and tools for geopolitical pressures.  Citizenship rights get dependent not only to personal conduct but also to intrasnsparent “general policies”.

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Events in Chania, Crete and Larissa, Thessaly on the new law on Citizenship

Posted by clandestina on 4 March 2010

Chania, Friday 5 March, 8 pm, Technical Chamber Chania, Nearhou str.

Larissa, Thursday 5 March, Trade Union Center, Larissa, 19.00

Posted in Events, Group of Immigrants and Refugees / Clandestina Network Texts & Announcements, Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Open discussion in Thessaloniki: the new citizenship bill. Τuesday 16 February.

Posted by clandestina on 10 February 2010

Ο νέος νόμος για την ιθαγένεια

Συμμετέχουν: Ομάδα Αλλοδαπών-Μεταναστών Φοιτητών Θεσσαλονίκης, Φόρουμ Μεταναστών Κρήτης, Oμάδα Μεταναστών & Προσφύγων, Κ. Τσιτσελίκης (καθηγητής ΠαΜακ), Σ. Μαρκέτος (καθηγητής ΑΠΘ), Δίκτυο Clandestina
Τρίτη 16 Φλεβάρη, 7.00 μμ
ΕΔΟΘ, Πρ. Κορομηλά 51

Open discussion:
the new citizenship bill

Speaking: Group of Foreign & Immigrant Students (Thessaloniki),
Forum of Immigrants in Crete,
Group of Immigrants and Refugees,
Κ. Τsitselikis (professor UOM),
S. Marketos (professor ΑUTh),
Clandestina network
Τuesday 16 February 7.00 pm
Koromila 51

Bisedë: Ligji i ri për shtetësinë
Marrin pjesë: Grupi i Studentëve Emigrantë & të Huaj Selanik, Forumi i Emigrantëve te Kretes, Grupi emigrantëve politikë dhe ekonomikë, K. Cicelikis (Profesor i universitetit PAMAK), S. Marketos (Profesor i UAS), Rrjeti Clandestina
të Martën 16/2 më orën 19:00
Koromila 51

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The final (Feb 4) version of the immigration bill: from bad to worse!

Posted by clandestina on 9 February 2010

In our recent text we argued that “the bill, which is ostensibly introduced to correct at least partially an injustice, does hold many pitfalls…those in the worst position now will be then further devalued. The division into ‘goods’ and ‘bads’, ‘useful’ and ’superfluous’, ‘legal’ and ‘clandestine’ immigrants is being petrified as the global system of exploitation deepens.”

The final, modified version of the draft law which was officially announced on February 4, 2010!

  • Both parents of the child to be entitled to citizenship must meet the requirement of 5 years of incessant legal residence in Greece (first version provided for only one parent).
  • Adult immigrants to be eligible for citizenship must present proof of 7 – instead of 5 as was first proposed – years of incessant legal residence in Greece, to which the further requirement of a “long residence permit”, which has been granted to just 130 persons since its inception in 2006!).
  • To the existing requirements of exclusion (high fees, law-abiding behaviour, clean criminal record etc,) the new draft law adds:
  • Special Civil Education and History tests set up by the Citizenship Committee.
  • That there are no “public or national security” reasons to deny citizenship.
  • Insurance and financial status
  • According to the ministry of interior those eligible to file an application today are: 130 long residing people, 14.000 with a 5 year residence, 1.000 parents of Greek citizens, 1.000 entitled to international protection, 120 people with no citizenship, a sum total of less than 16.500 people!

    Posted in Group of Immigrants and Refugees / Clandestina Network Texts & Announcements, Short Reports | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Citizenship bill made stricter

    Posted by clandestina on 5 February 2010

    source kathimerini

    Citizenship bill made stricter

    Second-generation immigrants who are hoping to obtain Greek citizenship under the new law proposed by the government yesterday discovered that the conditions for doing so are going to be substantially stricter than had originally been announced.

    PASOK submitted the revised bill to Parliament yesterday and it soon became apparent that some of the draft law’s provisions have been tightened up following a period of public consultation during which there were many objections to what some people regarded as the ease with which citizenship would be awarded.

    Under the new provisions, a child born in Greece to immigrant parents will need to have had both his father and mother living in the country legally for five years before he or she can apply for citizenship. Originally, only one parent would have had to be a legal resident.

    Also, the children will have to prove that they have spent at least six years in Greek schools rather than the three years originally proposed by the government.

    In another major change to the initial plans, applicants will also need to produce recommendation letters from three Greek citizens.

    The proposed law would still allow second-generation immigrants to vote in local elections and to stand as city councilors after obtaining citizenship and proving that they have a good command of Greek.

    The Interior Ministry estimates that the bill would allow more than 250,000 people to join the electoral register after gaining citizenship. Interior Minister Yiannis Ragousis said that the imminent law would apply to any immigrants who obtained legal status up to January 2005.

    Despite the stricter measures contained in the new bill, New Democracy still criticized the draft law for being too lax. “Every immigration measure that the government has announced so far constitutes the lowest threshold anywhere in Europe for awarding citizenship to immigrants,” said ND spokesman Panos Panayiotopoulos.

    Meanwhile, the Church of Greece’s Holy Synod said it believes the bill does not effectively tackle the country’s immigration problem.

    “The citizenship bill does not directly respond to the immigration problem, so the state has to carefully study the conditions under which citizenship will be granted,” the statement read. “At the same time, though, it has to approach the immigration issue with seriousness, taking into account the sensitivities and particularities of certain parts of our homeland and the possible effect it will have on the general population.”

    Posted in Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Short Reports, Undeclared War news | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

    On the much discussed bill on citizenship

    Posted by clandestina on 26 January 2010

    The proposed legislation to grant citizenship to some second generation immigrants puts partially an end to their chronic status of being hostages in the country where they were born and have lived so far their lives .   However, this bill, which is ostensibly  introduced to correct at least partially an injustice,  does hold many pitfalls:

    1) Children’s “legalisation” depends on the “legality” of their parents. As has been repeatedly stressed, no sans papiers can benefit from the proposed naturalization process.

    2) The proposed conditions for granting citizenship turn the latter into a “certificate of social conscience” [as the one issued by post-civil war police or army authorities certifying that its owner was not a communist – thereof employable in the public sector and entitled to various other rights]; those eligible and finally granted citizenship will be under the constant threat of having their citizenship removed; moreover, one to be eligible for the naturalisation process ”must have not been convicted to a prison sentence of at least one year for a period of ten years prior to the application, must have not been convicted of offences against the state, (…) of resistance to authority [for instance, resistance to arrest], of slander” as well as “of facilitating the transfer or the provision of shelter to illegal immigrants or of breaches of legislation concerning the settlement and movement of aliens in Greece.”

    3) Proposed army recruitment of immigrants (a relief for the army ranks in view of the growing reluctance among Greek youth to draft) adds to the exploitative blackmail that makes legal residence dependent on work revenue stamps (immigrant active workforce’s contributions with no pension claims so far have been so far the Greek administrations preferred approach for dealing with the ailing public insurance funds); the unacceptably high fee (1,000 euros per person which means millions of euros for the state ) is maintained.

    4) The much debated bill is merely an integration regulation for immigrants mostly from Albania, after two decades of overexploitation and in exchange for votes.  On April 28, 2009 Albania formally applied for EU membership. This prospect might seem remote, but wasn’t it the same with Romania and Bulgaria some years ago? Thus, although it now seems that the naturalization process applies and is of interest for the majority of immigrants in Greece, in a few years, when the Albanians will be EU citizens, the now proposed regulation will only aplly to a very small minotirty of immigrants. In fact, those in the worst position now will be then further devalued. The division into ‘goods’ and ‘bads’, ‘useful’ and ‘superfluous’, ‘legal’ and ‘clandestine’ immigrants is being petrified as the global system of exploitation deepens.

    Alongside with the proposal of the “benefactory” bill the Greek state has been all the more stressing its commitment to “zero tolerance” policies, the “sealing” of the borders, deportation camps, the Pact on Immigration and Asylum, the Dublin II Regulation, the Schengen Treaty, the Outrageous Directive. Finally, we should remind that the law provision for deporting immigrants charged (not convicted) of minor misdeeds on “public order and security” grounds is still in effect.

    Clandestina network, January 2010

    Posted in Group of Immigrants and Refugees / Clandestina Network Texts & Announcements | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    One step forward, two steps back! Forum of Migrants in Crete event on the new Immigration Bill

    Posted by clandestina on 25 January 2010

    This is a translation of a Forum of Migrants in Crete press release.

    for debate on the  immigration bill
    1 step forward and two steps back

    The Forum of Migrants in Crete considers that the proposed amendments to the Code of citizenship and the participation in elections of local government indeed are in the right direction – at any case we would be saying the same thing, even if it was about a single immigrant obtaining his/her rights.

    The proposal to grant citizenship to second generation immigrants puts partially an end to the chronic hostage status of the second generation immigrants.  However the bill requires 5 years of lawful and undisrupted residence of their parents in the country, attendance of the first three classes of the primary school or 6 years of attendance at a Greek school.   So, we ask:

    • what about the children whose parents had been legally residing but were at some point unable to renew their residence permits (in most cases because they had not adequate work revenue stamps)?
    • what about the children who have no parents (since many minors come on their own)?
    • what about the children of parents without legal documents?

    Concerning the proposal for the participation of all long-term foreign residents in the local authority elections, we ask why the boll excludes them from being candidates for senior posts?

    We respond to xenophobic voices that they should not worry, since in any case the bill concerns to only a very small percentage of people from other countries, those who live lawfully and continuously for many years in Greece.

    As for the acquisition of Greek citizenship by first generation immigrants, we actually wait to see the concrete and final requirements of the bill; under the pressure of racist critics. though, we expect them to be harsch.

    We will continue to struggle for the legalization of all immigrants (the draft law does not say a single word about sans papiers, and legal documents is a prerequisite for everything proposed by the bill).

    We will continue to struggle for citizenship for all children born, live and grown-up in this place.

    We call for an info, discussion and recommendations event on Tuesday, January 26, 6:00 pm at Agora Sq. Chania.

    Chania, Jan. 24, 2010.
    Forum of Immigrants in Crete

    NOTE: this call by the Forum of Immigrants in Crete is in the frame of a AN ANTIRACIST DEMONSTRATION CALL BY VARIOUS ORGANISATIONS IN CHANIA.  SIMILAR CALLS AHVE BEEN MADE IN OTHER CITIES AS WELL (Herakleion, Ioannina etc.) This is the Chania demonstrations poster:

    Posted in Calls to Action, Campaigns, Appeals & Petitions, Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Events, Other Groups' and Organisations' Releases | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Greek citizenship for migrant children born in Greece only to the children of legal immigrants

    Posted by clandestina on 23 November 2009

    This is about these promises of the Greek government Greek socialists to grant citizenship to migrants’ children.

    source: ert gr filia on 17 November

    Greek citizenship for migrant children born in Greece – as announced by Prime Minister George Papandreou at the World Migration Forum – applies only to the children of legal immigrants, clarified the Interior undersecretary Theodora Tzakri yesterday, in response to a question by New Democracy deputy Evangelos Antonaros.

    On his part, Antonaros warned that the prospect of immediate citizenship for the children would exacerbate the constantly growing number of immigrants heading for Greece. In his opinion, he said, the children of legal immigrants should be classified as “long-term residents” and, when they reach the age of 18, would have the possibility of deciding if they want the nationality of their parents or Greek citizenship.

    Posted in Content Reproductions/ Adaptations/ Translations, Short Reports, Undeclared War news | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    No to racism from the baby’s cot… the first child born in Greece to migrants to be registered so she can gain Greek nationality

    Posted by clandestina on 26 May 2009

    Kukua Williams, born in Athens to Ghanaian parents 17 months ago, yesterday [Sunday] became the first child born in Greece to migrants to be registered so she can gain Greek nationality. The Municipality of Kaisariani attempted to highlight the gaping hole in the country’s legislation, which effectively leaves such children with no legal status, during a public registration yesterday. The ceremony was of symbolic nature and Kukua faces a battle to gain full citizenship.

    Kathimerini Article


    Below is the invitation to the event by the United African Women Organization – Greece (



    Under the initiative of the Municipality of Kaisariani and in collaboration with the campaign “No to racism from baby’s cot,” an unusual event is before us!

    In fact, on Saturday 23 May at 7 o’clock in the afternoon in the central square of Kaisariani an event will take place, a symbolic ceremony, the registration of a child of an immigrant from Africa in the municipality’s registrar. The child is a 17 months old girl, born in Kaisariani, that cannot be registered in Municipality Roll and as a result it is essentially non-existed, as it is deprived of its rights and does not have a birth certificate neither in Ghana, nor in Greece. This is a well known fact for all immigrants’ children born in Greece. The symbolic registration will be made by the Mayor of Kaisariani, Spyros Tzokas.

    The symbolic ceremony that will take place under the campaign “No to racism from  baby’s cot” seeks:

    • to reveal the problem of immigrants’ children born on the Greek territory who cannot be registered in the municipality, and as a result they are deprived of elementary citizen rights deriving from this registration.
    • to inform and sensitize the Greek public opinion and develop a feeling of solidarity with the big human and social problem of hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their children, who, while living among us in the cities and the neighbourhoods, are deprived of the most basic rights.
    • to reveal the long-term unwillingness of the Greek State to grant the rights that each citizen in the country enjoys, to our immigrant neighbours.
    • to show that the citizens themselves and some democratic institutions have decided not to be fatalistic and wait until the State decides to include the immigrants in our society, and thus they begin to carry out exemplary initiatives.
    • to start the campaign at the level of local government in order to terminate this scandal towards the immigrants who remain without any rights.

    Moreover, this campaign aims at protecting and supporting the immigrants in this period of economic crisis, which may even get worse. With the use of the economic crisis and its sweeping consequences, the first that will be called (by the state and by the political establishment) to pay for it will be “obviously” once again the immigrants and, particularly, their children who remain unprotected due to lack of legislation.

    Consider participating in this event, an initiative of the Municipality of Kaisariani and the campaign “No to racism from baby’s cot.”

     There will be a cultural program and celebration with music and dance from migrant groups after the ceremony.

     Our demands are: 

    1. Attribution of Greek citizenship to immigrants’ children born in Greece or having completed three years in the Greek education system.

    2. Attribution of residence permit of indefinite duration to all children and youth born or to be born in Greece or having attended the Greek education system, independent of the status (legal or not legal) of their parents.

    3. We demand the amendment of the Greek Nationality Code from the ius sanguinis principle (law of bloodline, current foundation) to a ius soli principle (law of soil) for all individuals born in Greece or for any minor who completes three years in any level of the Greek education system (and with the possibility of reaffirmation of the demand by the claimant when reaching adulthood).

    4. In any case, institution of the residence principle as a base for the acquisition of citizenship, founded not on origin or place of birth, but on the person’s special bond with the place where his domicile and work are situated.

    5. We demand both the article 27 of Greek Nationality Code and the article 14 of the Municipal Code’s amendment so as the acquisition of status as a member of the municipality will be dissociated from the acquisition of Greek nationality and will be linked with the reality of the permanent residence. The immigrants’ affiliation to their municipality should be established independently of nationality status (see the examples of Spain, Finland, Slovakia).

    6. We demand the establishment of Local Immigrants Councils with a consultative role in the municipal decision and policy making.

    7. Attribution of voting rights to municipal elections for anyone who can prove a 5-year legal residence in Greece.

    Contact us:

    Laureta Macauley: 693-8387351/ Sonia Mitralia: 693-2295118,


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