Spain rejects thousands of applications for citizenship

When it comes to granting citizenship to applicants of Sephardi origin, Spain appears to have had a change of heart. It has rejected or failed to respond to 20,000 applications. One reason could be that the current government is an alliance of the PSOE socialist party and hard-left Podemos, neither known for being philosemitic or pro-Israel. Although the Spanish deadline expires in September 2021, Sephardim can still apply for Portuguese citizenship, which is open-ended. Times of Israel has picked up the story: 

A street in the juderia of Cordoba

Spain has been widely rejecting applications for citizenship by the descendants of Sephardic Jews expelled from the country more than 500 years ago, according to The New York Times.

The Spanish government has extended citizenship to 34,000 people since advancing the 2015 law to redress the “historical mistake” Spain committed when it forced its Jewish population to convert or go into exile in 1492.

But according to The New York Times, which cited Spanish government data, while just a single applicant was denied citizenship before this year, 3,000 applications have been suddenly rejected in the past few months and 17,000 others have received no response.

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