ATHENS – A bill pushed by the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA to grant citizenship to second-generation immigrants will benefit fewer than 100,000, the government said.
Alternate Minister for Immigration Policy Tasia Christodoulopoulou outlined the plan to a parliamentary committee that started debating the draft legislation on June 10.
The number of beneficiaries “won’t even reach 100,000, including children,” Christodoulopoulou said in comments before the House’s Committee for Public Administration, Public Order and Justice, Kathimerini reported.
New Democracy’s Giorgos Georgantas objected to the bill, which he said would “give the wrong message,” adding that “we are going down a dangerous road.”
There were also said to be some objections from the ranks of Independent Greeks, SYRIZA’s coalition partner.
Christodoulopoulou called on the lawmakers to send “a message of social inclusion and acceptance,” but said it could also be amended before going to a vote, likely next week. “The greatest possible consensus should be achieved,” she said.
The bill stipulates that applicants must have been enrolled at a Greek primary school and that their parents must have lived legally in Greece for five years prior to the applicant’s birth.