Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson caught up in political row as they accept their new Greek passports

July 27, 2020

Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson have been presented with new Greek passports - but the happy occasion was marred by criticism due to the prime minister's transport choice after the event.

The Hollywood couple were pictured holding the passports alongside Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his wife Mareva Grabowski-Mitsotakis to celebrate the citizenship.

In an Instagram post on Sunday, Mr Mitsotakis wrote the famous pair were "now proud Greek citizens".

But the initially celebratory moment for the group was later subject to criticism after it was revealed the prime minister and his wife had used a military helicopter to travel from Antiparos - where Hanks and Wilson have a holiday home - to a theatre to watch a play.

Greece's main left-wing opposition party, Syriza, said this use of a military helicopter was akin to a "personal radio taxi" after the couple went to the historic theatre of Epidaurus to watch the performance of an ancient tragedy.

Government spokesman Stelios Pestas rejected this notion, insisting that Mr Mitsotakis had been fulfilling his duties by attending an "important cultural event".

He added that the prime minister had earlier used a commercial flight to the island of Paros, before travelling to Antiparos.

Neither Syriza nor Mr Petsas referred to Hanks by name.

Hanks, Wilson and their two children were offered the citizenship as a way to recognise their fundraising efforts in the aftermath of a deadly wildfire near Athens in 2018.

Wilson, who is herself an actress and producer, has Greek and Bulgarian ancestry.

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