The number of foreign nationals granted citizenship in Greece recorded an increase of 138 percent in 2016 compared with the previous year, a Eurostat report said on Monday. A total of 33,210 individuals received Greek citizenship, of which 86 percent were Albanian nationals, 1.5 percent Ukrainians and 1.2 percent Russians.
Throughout the EU, approximately 995,000 acquired the citizenship of an EU member-state in 2016, up from 841,000 in 2015 and 889,000 in 2014. Of these, 12 pct were citizens of another EU member-state and the rest were either citizens of non-EU countries or stateless.
Of these, Moroccans formed the biggest group (101,300 individuals), followed by Albanians (67,500), Indians (41,700), Pakistanis (32,900), Turks (32,800) and Ukrainians (24,000).
The biggest increases in the number of citizenships granted were in Croatia (up 232 pct, to 3,973), Greece (up 138 pct to 33,210) and Malta (up 131 pct to 1,495).
The highest rate of naturalization as a percentage of population was in Croatia (9.7 naturalization per 100 foreign residents), Sweden (7.9) and Portugal (6.5), with Greece and Romania tied in fourth place (4.2).
The lowest naturalization rates were in Austria, Latvia and Slovakia (0.7), Estonia and Lithuania (0.9) and the Czech Republic (1).