Carr rebuffs Simpkins allegations

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Foreign Minister Bob Carr has answered allegations made to him in relation to FYROM, by Perth federal MP Luke Simpkins. In written questions put to Carr in Parliament last September, Mr Simpkins made a number of accusations, one of which suggested Greek diplomats in Australia – in collaboration with unnamed anti-Skopje activists – were involved in drawing up a ‘blacklist’ of Australian citizens with connections to FYROM; the contention being that the ‘black-list’ was then used by the Greek government to decline those listed entry into Greece, on the basis of them being “a threat to public policy or internal security”. Minister Carr’s answer – published in Hansard on Thursday – said that he was not aware of any such allegations, but that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade “is aware that the Greek government maintains a National Record of Undesirable Foreigners. “As it is for Australia, it is the discretion of the Greek government to decide whom it allows to enter its territory,” said the Foreign Minister. In response to Mr Simpkins’ other line of questioning in relation to Australian passport holders being refused entry into Greece because of Greece no longer recognising certain village and town names, Mr Carr said that on 6 September 2012, “the Australian Embassy in Athens made representations to the Greek Ministry for Foreign Affairs about three separate cases of Australian citizens who were denied entry into Greece. “These representations were made on the basis that the Australians were allegedly carrying ‘invalid’ passports. “The Greek government has advised that these individuals were denied entry because Greece does not accept official documents from third countries which contain ‘inaccurate denominations’ of Greek geographical places.” The Minister’s statement added: “This measure is applied by the Greek government to the passports of all foreign nationals. The smartraveller website maintained by the Australian Government cautions individuals in its travel advice for Greece that they may encounter problems entering Greece on travel documents that use place names not officially recognised by Greece.” The Minister said that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was “unaware of any cases where individuals were denied entry to other European Union countries on the basis of denied access to Greece”. Mr Simpkins’ allegations were described last week as “pandering to FYROM nationalism” by the Australian Macedonian Advisory Council, who with the Australian Hellenic Council, expressed disappointment at what they referred to as the Liberal MP’s “irresponsible” actions.last_img

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