Frydenberg faces citizenship questions

Minister for the Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg
Minister for the Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg

Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg has angrily denied suggestions he may hold Hungarian dual citizenship.

Mr Frydenberg has faced questions about the possibility of being a dual national in the country that persecuted his Jewish mother, Erica Strausz, who escaped to Australia as a refugee during the Holocaust.

ABC News reported Hungarian law can confer citizenship by descent, posing a possible problem for Mr Frydenberg, who has engaged an investigator in Budapest and made inquiries to the Hungarian embassy.

According the report, Mr Frydenberg produced immigration entry documents from 1950 that describe his mother as stateless.

“It is absolutely absurd to think that I could involuntarily acquire Hungarian citizenship by rule of a country that rendered my mother stateless,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“I was born in Australia to two Australian citizens.”

Mr Frydenberg said even if his mother had been a Hungarian citizen, he was still in the clear.

“I have never sought to be a citizen of another country and neither has anyone sought to do that on my behalf.

“It’s a very sad situation where these sort of allegations are flying around making absurd propositions that people can be citizens of another country based on their parents coming to Australia as stateless persons.”