Doubts surround Hallyday bid to become Belgian

15th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

BRUSSELS, Feb 15, 2006 (AFP) - Veteran French rocker Johnny Hallyday may not have what it takes to become a Belgian, a tabloid daily reported on Wednesday, as the singer bids to win his father's nationality.

BRUSSELS, Feb 15, 2006 (AFP) - Veteran French rocker Johnny Hallyday may not have what it takes to become a Belgian, a tabloid daily reported on Wednesday, as the singer bids to win his father's nationality.

"The singer does not meet the condition of having lived in Belgium for three years, which is required under the naturalisation code," the daily La Derniere Heure said.

The interior ministry has warned the lower house of parliament, which is expected to rule on Hallyday's application in the next few months, about the requirement, the paper said citing "good sources".

The department concerned was not available for comment on Wednesday.

The 62-year-old Gallic songster -- real name Jean-Philippe Smet -- lodged a naturalisation application at Belgium's embassy in Paris in November, according to the Belgian foreign ministry.

Hallyday -- who was born in Paris on June 15, 1943 to French mother Huguette Clerc, a model, and Belgian father Leon Smet -- will continue to live in France, La Dernier Heure said last month when it first broke the story.

The singer assumed until recently that he had dual French and Belgian nationality. But he learned this was not the case since, when he was born, his father was married to another woman and so could not pass on his nationality.

Hallyday, once dubbed the French Elvis Presley, announced last month that he was quitting Universal records after 43 years to join rival Warner Music.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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