Greek Citizenship Law N.3838/2010

The Council of State decladed unconstitutional the law on acquiring Greek citizenship voted in 2010. The Ragousis Law (Law n.3838/2010), named after former Interior Minister Yannis Ragousis

- permits voting rights to local elections to second-generation immigrants (Art.14);

- introduces  jus soli by granting automaticallty Greek citizenship to children born in Greece if at least one parent is also born in Greece (Art. 1);

- grants Greek citizenship to persons being born to immigrant parents that have been living in Greece legally for five years if they have studied at a Greek school for at least six years (Art.1A). [1]

The last provision (Art.1A) was questioned by the Council of State, which questioned in a ruling "whether these criteria were suitable for deciting a person's citizenship and wheter stronger ties with Greece should be required". Furthermore, the Council of State "deemed unconstitutional the part of the law [Art.14] that allows non-Greek citizens to vote and stand as candidates in local and regional elections", adding that a consitutional review is necessarey for the application of this legislation. However, the ruling does not automaticaly lead to repeal of the law, since it could be appealed at the Supreme Court[2].

Representatives of second-generation immigrats denounced the decision of the Council of State. Nikodimos Maina Kiniua from African organization ASANTE said: "The relationship between immigrants and Greek society can be obtained only through the children of immigrants who are born here. The court's decision is based on the right of blood. They do it in order to limit the cases of granting citizenship to immigrants. But they should know that second-generation immigrants have no intention either to leave here, or to make concessions in terms of their rights" [3].


  1. Government Gazette of Greece, 24.03.2010, Law N.3838, Current provisions for Greek citizenship and political participation expatriated and regally  residing immigrants and other settings, Accessed on 23.11.2012.
  2. Kathimerini English Edition, 13.11.2012, Court casts doubt over migrant citizenship law, Accessed on 23.11.2012.
  3. GRReporter, 20.11.2012, Immigrants will sue Greece for attacks by Golden Dawn, Accessed on 23.11.2012.