Australia

Hungarian government letter reportedly clears Josh Frydenberg of citizenship

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. Source: AAP

"I can confirm that the Hungarian citizenship of the Hon. Joshua Frydenberg MP is not established," the official Hungarian letter said.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg's dual citizenship woes may be over after he reportedly received a letter from the government in Budapest confirming he has no claim to Hungarian citizenship.

A resident of Mr Frydenberg's electorate of Kooyong, Michael Staindl, filed a High Court petition in July challenging Mr Frydenberg's eligibility to sit in the federal parliament. He argued the MP should be disqualified under the constitution because he is entitled to Hungarian citizenship.

Mr Frydenberg had written to Gergely Gulyas, Minister of the Hungarian Prime Minister's Office, The Weekend Australian reports.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg at a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg at a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra.
AAP

The letter from the Hungarian Prime Minister's Office states that a search of the country's records turned up no evidence of Mr Frydenberg or his mother being Hungarian citizens.

"I can confirm that the Hungarian citizenship of the Hon. Joshua Frydenberg MP is not established," the official Hungarian letter said.

"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."

Mr Frydenberg's mother Erica, who was born in Budapest in 1943, left the country in 1949. She arrived in Australia with her siblings on the SS Surriento from the Italian city of Genoa in 1950 with travel documents issued to stateless people by the chief of police in Paris.

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