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Most Lithuanians support granting citizenship to foreign athletes

Isabella Tobias ir Deividas Stagniūnas
Isabella Tobias and Deividas Stagniūnas
Šaltinis: BNS
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More than half of Lithuanian residents believe that foreign sportsmen willing to represent Lithuania should be granted the Lithuanian citizenship. Thus indicates a poll published on delfi.lt news portal on Wednesday.

Asked whether the Lithuanian citizenship should be granted to athletes willing to represent Lithuania, 40.6 percent of respondents said “Yes, promotion of Lithuania's name is most important,” while 23.2 chose the answer “Yes, but only in those sports that lack local professionals.” Another 24.8 percent chose the answer “No, Lithuania should be represented by true-born citizens of Lithuania.”

The ice dance couple Deividas Stagniūnas and his partner, US citizen Isabella Tobias, has caused controversy in Lithuania. Tobias is not a Lithuanian citizen, therefore, cannot represent Lithuania in the Olympic Games.

In 2009, President Dalia Grybauskaitė rejected the citizenship application of Stagniūnas' previous partner Katherine Leigh Copely. The move came in response to recommendations of two citizenship commissions, which said that granting citizenship would violate the Constitution and Lithuanian laws.

The survey of 1,006 residents of Lithuania aged 18-75 was carried out by public opinion and market research company Spinter Tyrimai (Spinter Surveys) on 13-20 March.

BNS
Naujienų agentūros BNS informaciją atgaminti visuomenės informavimo priemonėse bei interneto tinklalapiuose be raštiško UAB „BNS“ sutikimo draudžiama.
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