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  Nr. 26 - May 2000
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Symposium Focuses on Foreign Women and the Law

by Stacey Papaioannou, May 2000
What special needs do foreign women living permanently in Greece have, when it comes to legal matters? This was the focus of a symposium in Mykonos, organized and sponsored by the Volunteers Association of Mykonos (VAM) on March 29th and 30th.

Issues addressed at the symposium included: alien residence privileges, the process of citizenship, inheritance with and without a will, marital rights, divorce, child custody, abuse, and legal precautions. Two Athens-based attorneys made presentations, offered advice and answered questions about legal dilemmas and bureaucratic red tape. The symposium was conducted in English on the premises of the Semeli and Belvedere Hotels in Mykonos.

Titika Nikea-Mouratoglou, a 1979 graduate of Athens University Law School, with a practice specializing in family law, addressed the topics of marital rights, separation, divorce, abuse and child custody. Titikia can be contacted at: 14-16 Fidiou, Athens 106 78, tel: 01-3843-494, fax: 01-3839-819, e-mail: tnikea@hol.gr.

Alexandra Dimitrakopoulou, a 1996 graduate of Athens University Law School, with a practice specializing in civil law, made presentations on inheritance with and without a will and dealing with the immigration authorities in Greece. She can be contacted at: 118 Drosopoulou, Athens 112 56, tel/fax: 01-330-9355, e-mail: alexdim@tpp24.net.

Discussions surpassed the two-hour allotted time for each session because of the vast amount of information and intricate questions posed to the attorneys. Three issues addressed that evoked surprise from veterans and newer residents to Greece were: 1) The necessity for individuals coming from European Union (EU) countries to apply for and hold a valid alien residence permit; 2) No recognition of rights for a common-law wife within the Greek legal system; and 3) the apportionment of a deceased's estate amongst various relatives when there is no will.

More than seventy women attended the symposium over the two days. Attendance was free of charge and open to the public. A complete copy of the text of the presentations is available upon request to VAM for a fee of 1,000drs to cover copying and shipping expenses.

To date, VAM has organized community events that have raised more than 20 million drachmas. Fundraisers have included bake-sales, Christmas bazaars, childrens' carnivals and walkathons. These funds have established a computer centre in Mykonos' Techniko Lykeio, created electronic libraries for the island's three grammar schools, purchased oil-spill containment equipment to preserve Mykonian coastlines, as well as contributing to Doctors of the World, UNICEF and other international victim relief organizations. The organization's membership is composed primarily of women, more than half of whom are not Greek nationals.

For more information about VAM and/or the symposium contact Stacey Papaioannou - Corresponding/Press Secretary VAM, at P.O. Box 133, Mykonos, GR84600, tel/fax (0289) 24123 or e-mail: hi-stace@otenet.gr.
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