Citizenship renewed after 500 years?

The official BBC image for Strictly Come Dancing 2022. Credit: [email protected]

The Spanish government is considering issuing citizenship to descendents of Jews expelled from Spain in 1492. If the law passes through the upper chamber of the Spanish Parliament the application process would start at the end of the year.

 Around 300,000 Jewish people lived in Spain at the time, but these people were ordered to either convert to the Catholic religion or leave the country by Catholic King and Queen Ferdinand and Isabella. Thousands of Muslims faced the same harsh decision at the time.

If the law is passed, the Spanish government does not expect most eligible citizens to return to Spain, but instead expects around 90,000 people to apply for dual citizenship.

Descendents of the expelled families are thought to live in the USA, Israel, France, Argentina, Chile, Turkey and Mexico. If the law goes ahead applicants for Spanish citizenship will need to prove both their Jewish heritage and their connection to Spain.

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