There are more Greeks like me

200,000 young people born or raised in Greece are denied Greek citizenship

New video launched to support campaign calling on the European Union and the Greek government to ensure that Greek citizenship is made available to children born and/or raised in Greece

A new video campaign has been launched by an organisation calling for the state to grant Greek citizenship to an estimated 200,000 children and young adults born and raised in Greece who are denied the status because their parents are immigrants.

Entitled Equal Citizens, the one-minute advertisement features a number of young people explaining why they want to have the same rights as most of their peers. “I belong to this country,” says one, while another says that she already feels “like a citizen of this country”. The video also hears from youths with Greek citizenship calling for their friends to enjoy the same rights as them.

Children born in Greece to parents who are not Greek citizens are not entitled to automatic Greek citizenship, even when they become of age. If their parents are from non-EU countries, then the children face discrimination in a range of areas. For one, they are required to apply for a residence permit to live in the only country they know. As non-EU citizens, they don’t enjoy the same freedom of travel as their Greek peers and they also face discrimination in the labour market. Political rights are also denied to them.

The video was produced by Generation 2.0 for Rights, Equality and Diversity (Generation 2.0 Red). According to its website, it is “a youth organisation that combines research and social action to promote rights, equality and diversity and to combat racism, xenophobia, and discrimination”.

It says that denying citizenship to these children “leads to their social exclusion and stigmatisation as ‘others'”.

On its website, the group is collecting signatures for a petition calling on the European Union and the Greek government to ensure that children born and/or raised in Greece can apply for Greek citizenship.

In 2013, the government last year scrapped a law allowing second-generation migrants to obtain Greek citizenship but has yet to replace it. The 2010 citizenship law, passed by a Pasok government, allowed a child born in Greece to immigrant parents who had been living in the country legally to apply for citizenship. The children had to prove that they had spent at least six years in Greek schools.

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