Greek Jews hail citizenship decision

Greece’s Jewish community hailed a lawmakers’ decision to allow descendants of Holocaust survivors to apply for Greek citizenship.

The parliamentary amendment follows calls from the Central Board of Jewish Communities, the country’s EJC affiliate, the group’s president David Saltiel told AFP.

“This is a moral victory,” and a “fresh step forward in the recognition of the history of the Holocaust and of Greek Jews,” he said.

In 2011, Greece recognised the right of Jewish survivors of the Holocaust to gain back the nationality they had lost if they left the country, Saltiel said.

The new amendment concerns relatives of those survivors, many of whom live in Israel.

Thursday’s vote passed largely unnoticed but has since become a political controversy.

Greece’s left-wing Syriza-led government on Saturday sharply criticised the opposition conservative New Democracy (ND) party for abstaining from the vote.

The ND countered that it backs the measure and attributed its abstention to confusion during the voting.

As expected the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, the fourth biggest in parliament, voted against the legislation.


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