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Great Greek citizenship fiasco rolls on

Channel Nine jump on bandwagon naming Arthur Sinodinos as dual citizen

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Arthur Sinodinos. Photo: AAP via AP/ Neos Kosmos Archive

23 August 2017

Australian media on the hunt for more scalps in the dual citizenship crisis set their sights on Industry Minister Arthur Sinodinos this week, despite emphatic denials by the senator that he has never held Greek citizenship.

With obvious parallels to the Julia Banks case, though Senator Sinodinos was born in Australia, Channel Nine suggested he may unwittingly hold Greek citizenship "by virtue of his late parents who were born on the Ionian island of Cephalonia".

"According to Greek law, a 'child of a Greek father or a Greek mother acquires Greek citizenship by birth', " continued the Channel Nine report.

Senator Sinodinos has strenuously denied the claims.

"Media reports... that I hold dual Greek citizenship are false," he said in a statement.

"Categorically, I am not a dual citizen. I was born in Newcastle and have lived all my life in Australia."

The senator added that he had "recently confirmed with the Government of Greece that I have never held Greek citizenship."

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I am sick and tired of the Australian media targeting every politician with an ethnic surname. Let's face it, most MPs state and federal of Greek descent have little ties with Greece/Cyprus and the culture. (Vamvakinou is probably the only exception.) More importantly, they speak little if any Greek - just take a listen of Julia Banks' welcome to Terence Quick, or Xenophon's statement outside parliament that he isn't a Greek citizen. Horrendous. Why would someone who prefers to identify as an "Aussie" and embrace the Anglo-Saxon "culture" and way of life even bother to go thru the process of attaining Greek citizenship? And yes, to become a Greek citizen – and I'm sure this applies to all EU countries – you are the one who has to start the process. It's not the individual country that automatically becomes aware of your birth and decides to make you a citizen. Give us a break.
This absolute and utter garbage about 'children' of Hellenic born citizens began about a week before Julia Banks was wrongly targeted, and it was by ex lawyer Jon Faine on his radio show. Erroneously and without investigation, this media ''genius'' claimed that anyone born here or not, but the child of a Greek born parent was a Greek citizen and also subject to being drafted by the Hellenic defence forces. What a load of crap. International law does NOT allow the jurisdiction of one country to supplant the rights imposed on citizens of another not does it allow one nation to subjugate another. Constitutional Australian law is very clear that anyone born here is automatically an Australian citizen, although John Howard did tweak it so that children of refugees would be excluded. Basic administrative law, added to the other two, notes that to become a citizen of another nation one must formally seek it, fill out documents, prove a parent's status and wait to be formally accepted. I was born in Australia, to parents both Hellenic. Epirotes. My father's village was very erroneously claimed to be that which you see in the recent Bourne movie. (Tsamantas, Filiates, Threspotia) But to become a Hellenic citizen I would need to prove his birth and we have NO records at all save his military papers which, I was informed years ago when I asked about a Hellenic passport, would not be good enough. In any case, like Mr Jim Paizis before me (in his case in WW2), I swore an oath of allegiance to the Royal Australian Navy and after that there would be no lawful way that a Hellenic government could draft me. Arthur Sinodinos and Julia Banks did not join the Navy but they did swear oaths of office and oaths of allegiance to Australia when they became MPs, and he a Minister, just as did Maria Vamvakinou and Steve Gorganas. But above everything else I return to one key solitary point, if you are born HERE then you are an Australian citizen unless you deliberately openly and formally renounce same. This whole citizenship mess is a joke on us and the High Court should be ashamed for taking so long to deliberate on what I do regard as an open and shut case.

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