Spanish Jewish citizenship bill moves on to parliament after cabinet approval

The Spanish cabinet on Friday approved a bill granting the descendants of Jews exiled during the Inquisition the right to dual citizenship. The bill is expected to pass easily in the Spanish parliament. 

Scene from an Inquisition by Francisco Goya (1746-1828). Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

According to Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, Sephardic Jews who have their heritage confirmed via the Spanish Federation of Jewish Communities or by rabbis in their region will be eligible for citizenship. They will also have to pass a Spanish culture test.

The approved bill is intended to rectify the expulsion of the Jews in 1492, which the Spanish government has called a "historic mistake." Those Jews who take on Spanish citizenship will be able to keep their current citizenship, reported Haaretz.

The possibility of the bill was first announced last year by Spanish Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon. In April 2013, Portugal’s parliament ratified a similar measure granting citizenship to Jews whose ancestors were expelled from Portugal during the same period. 

Posted on June 6, 2014 .