Goans vying for Portuguese nationality

The number of Goans opting for the Portuguese nationality has risen steadily over the last three years, according to the Election Commission statistics.

Last Updated: Aug 18, 2011, 15:10 PM IST

Panaji: The number of Goans opting for the
Portuguese nationality has risen steadily over the last three
years, according to the Election Commission statistics.

As per the records available with the state office of the
Election Commission of India, as many as 1855 Goans have
become Portuguese nationals in the last three years and more
are catching up.
According to the statistics, the trend is fast becoming a
rage as 312 people chose to be Portuguese nationals in year
2008 followed by 432 in 2009 and 807 in 2010.

In an indication that year 2011 will surpass the previous
figures, as many as 304 people have changed their nationality
status in the first three months of the year.

So what is the bait that is driving people to even
abdicate their voting rights for the sake of Portuguese
nationality?
"The main catch why people rush for Portuguese passport is
that it gives them entry into Europe. From Portugal they can
travel to other nations in search of an employment," State NRI
Commissionerate Director U D Kamat said.

The Portuguese had eased rules regarding nationality for
the Goans who were born during their rule and to their next
two generations.

According to Kamat, "The Portuguese passport holders
cannot apply for government jobs here and also can`t buy
agricultural properties. Besides, their right to vote also
ceases to exist."

Goa`s Joint Chief Electoral Officer Narayan Navti said
the figures of people who have changed their nationality are
on the rise and still counting.

PTI