Letter from Hungary states Frydenberg’s citizenship “is not established”

November 24, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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A resident of Josh Frydenberg’s Melbourne electorate of Kooyong is petitioning for his disqualification as an MP under the constitution because he is entitled to Hungarian citizenship.

Holocaust survivor Abe Goldberg with Josh Frydenberg

But the Hungarian Prime Minister has written to the Australian Treasurer telling him “I can confirm that the Hungarian citizenship of the Hon. Joshua Frydenberg MP is not ­established.”

At a media doorstop yesterday a journalist asked Josh Frydenberg “The Hungarian Government said that you have no established claim to citizenship. Is that the same as not being entitled to citizenship? It seems to be very careful wording.”

The Treasurer responded: “Well the letter speaks for itself. And as you know, I’ve always maintained that my citizenship is only Australian and that is the case. I wrote to the Hungarian Government to confirm that any other citizenship for me is not established and I received the response accordingly.”

He further asked: “Does the fact that you’ve had to go to the extent of writing to the Hungarian Government two years after, possibly even three years after, the Section 44 problems first arose. Is that concerning and why hadn’t you done that previously and if it’s necessary now, why didn’t you do it much earlier?”

Josh Frydenberg answered the question saying: “I sought legal advice, I received that legal advice and that legal advice to me has been very clear that my citizenship is Australian, not Hungarian. This matter, as you know, has been taken further by political opponents for whatever reasons, many have been very critical of the motivation of others to take this case forward, but now that I have received that letter, that letter speaks for itself.”

The Hungarian letter also contained “In addition, following a search of all relevant Hungarian records where Hungarian citizenship is expected to be or is ­required to be recorded: no ­record listing you as a Hungarian citizen has been identified. No ­record which came into existence after her departure from Hungary in 1949 listing Erica Frydenberg (nee Erika Strausz or Erika Strauss) as a Hungarian citizen has been identified.”

Erica Frydenberg is the mother of the Treasurer.

Michael Staindl entered his petition in July.

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