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Latino Daily News

Sunday June 8, 2014

Spanish Government Closer to Granting Dual Citizenship to Sephardic Jews

Spanish Government Closer to Granting Dual Citizenship to Sephardic Jews

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Spain’s Cabinet approved a draft bill to permit dual citizenship to all Sephardic Jews who apply for it and to recognize that status for the entire time they are able to retain the nationality of their country of origin.

Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon said in presenting the draft legislation on Feb. 7 that this measure completes the reparation of “one of the greatest errors” in the history of Spain - the expulsion of the Jews in 1492.

Sephardic citizens can currently acquire Spanish nationality with naturalization papers (at the government’s discretion) or after residing two years in Spain, the same privilege that is granted to nationals of Latin America, Portugal and the Philippines.

Among the ways people can prove their Sephardic identity is by presenting a certificate from the Spanish Federation of Jewish Communities or from the leader of the Jewish community in their home country.

Obtaining this special tie with Spain also requires passing a Cervantes Institute test to evaluate the person’s command of Spanish language and culture, according to the Justice Ministry.

The bill must still be passed by Parliament, where the ruling conservative Popular Party has an absolute majority.

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