Eva Kaili's staggering real estate wealth not unique among Brusselites
Eva Kali, who has been arrested on charges of corruption, is not the only person among Brussels elites to possess a plethora of properties. However, the sizable assets of the corrupt ex-EP vice-president pale in comparison to those of other Brusselites. For instance, Guy Verhovstadt, a close acquaintance of the failed politician, also boasts considerable pieces of real estate. There have also been some small-time politicians who rented out studies in their homes as office space to the European Parliament, as unveiled by V4NA a few years ago.
As revealed in recent days, Eva “Qatargate” Kaili owns a number of luxury real properties in Greece, which she acquired at suspiciously low prices and then sold some at much higher prices. She managed to sell those well, although the value of properties in the given neighbourhoods had actually dropped compared to the time of purchase, according to a real estate consultant.
Ms Kaili’s case is not unique, with other Brusselites having also tried to make gains from their above-the-average benefits and influence on the real estate market. As also reported by V4NA, Mariya Gabriel, Bulgarian EC commissioner, was also embroiled in a corruption scandal after she signed a property rental agreement in October 2010. The Bulgarian anti-corruption committee launched an investigation into the EC commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education and youth after it came to light that
the politician was renting a municipal flat at well below the market price, for 400 Bulgarian levs (equivalent of 204 euros).
Albeit with great difficulty, the proceedings against Ms Gabriel were hushed up and quietly dismissed in the end. Worthy of note is the fact that the Bulgarian EC commissioner’s name appears on the list of “reliable allies” compiled by the Open Society Foundations of George Soros’s Empire.
Manfred Weber, who aspired to become president of the European Commission, also increased his wealth through a shady property rental. By exploiting loopholes and using tricks and cunning means, he managed to amass at least 400,000 euros.
The jockeying EPP politician declared his own family house as the party’s office in order to pocket an additional 4332 euros per month. This was possible as MEPs were not – and are still not – required to present invoices as proof of office rental, and Mr Weber saw a great opportunity in this loophole.
His house is located in a small Lower Bavarian village, Wildenberg, out in the back of beyond, where he is a habitual resident. He designated the ground floor of the building to be his office, in an obvious effort to retain the money he should be spending on renting an office. The fact that his village is so far away from large cities that voters cannot easily visit their beloved representative, did not matter.
In Wildenberg, V4NA’s journalists saw that Weber did not even bother to put up a sign, indicating that the building houses his representative office.
The unspent rental cost amounted to 387 thousand euros, which the politician could easily use to cover his house’s total utilities expenses, as Brussels never required any invoices.
Previously, V4NA reported several times how liberal MEP Guy Verhofstadt, known for his extravagant life style, “saved money” when he had his own house renovated. As it turned out, the liberal politician cut his own expenses by receiving hundreds of thousands of euros in public monies for the renovation.
He and his family bought the listed building – in which he still lives – in 2011 for one and a half million euros, together with two other families, press reports suggest. According to an article by Knack, in 2012,
the cost of the renovation of the Verhofstadt residence was estimated at around 820,000 euros, but almost half of this was paid for by Belgian taxpayers.
To cover his renovation costs, the ex-prime minister received substantial funding from the Flemish government, the province of East Flanders and the city of Ghent, totalling 327,784 euros, the Knack news portal writes.
The hundreds of thousands of euros in subsidies were met with outrage and backlash at a time when the government was making changes to energy-saving measures. This means that people no longer received the same tax relief for certain housing improvements and upgrading investments as before, making construction or renovation significantly more expensive. The question arises: How many other properties does the politician own which he is hiding from the public.
The list of EU politicians who boast luxury properties doesn’t end there. Swedish-born Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson also lives a posh life compared to the average European citizen. Her assets declaration shows that she is not one of the most wealthy commissioners. However, she used to live in one of the most beautiful areas of Stockholm, on the banks of the Riddarfjarden River, and after a sham divorce from her husband, presumably for political and economic reasons, she moved to a villa with its own marina on the outskirts of Stockholm.
Interestingly, public Instagram posts reveal that Ms Johansson and her ex-husband, former Finance minister Erik Asbrink, still have a very good relationship, and they go boating together in the coves near her home.
The couple bought an apartment in Stockholm in 1999 for SEK 6 million, which they sold in 2015 for SEK 22.5 million. The nine-room, 307-square-metre corner apartment was on the first floor of a house in Norr Malarstrand dating from 1931. Norr Malarstrand is located in Stockholm’s upmarket district on the north bank of the Malaren.
But the 2015 real estate deal did not deprive them of the waterfront. Both Ms Johansson and Mr Asbrink probably love this kind of closeness to nature, as you can see from their Instagram posts.
Her villa on the island of Ljustero is far enough away from the no-go zones on the outskirts of Stockholm that Commissioner Johansson does not have to deal with the migrants she so willingly welcomes on a daily basis, while as an EU politician she continues to push for mass immigration and the resettlement of more illegal immigrants in the EU.
In Brussels, a hotbed of corruption in Europe, you can find officials who have amassed striking wealth in addition to their considerable property holdings. Spain’s Joseph Borell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, is a member of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party and, by his own admission, has a fortune of millions of euros. His wealth continued to grow during his term as Commissioner, and he payed off hundreds of thousands of euros in debts in the past two years.
Before becoming an EU Commissioner, he also filed a declaration of assets and liabilities as Spain’s foreign minister, which was made public in March 2020. Mr Borell then declared a so-called liability of 337,278 euros, in addition to owning some properties worth 2.2 million euros.
However, his 2022 asset declaration no longer included any liabilities, meaning he managed to recover hundreds of thousands of euros from his €25,000 salary in just two years.
It is clear from his asset declaration that, during the health crisis of the pandemic, as well as the war-torn period,
the EU Commissioner has made hundreds of thousands of euros.
Reading the asset declaration of the Socialist politician, it is also striking that he keeps 200 thousand euros in cash or securities on deposit at three companies, and he also has a large amount of shares. He owns almost 55,000 euros worth of shares and securities in BBVA, one of the largest multinational service companies in Spain, and
he has a stake in the chemical sector, owning 184 shares issued by the Bayer group.
It is also noteworthy that the commissioner owns six properties in Spain, and one in Brussels. When he is not in Brussels, he lives with his wife in Valdemorillo, near Madrid. He also enjoys a luxurious environment there, as the property offers a view of the nearby Valmayor reservoir.
The leftist politician, who by no means rejects luxury, also boasts a palace of 512 square metres, complete with a backyard and a pool in a quiet part of the town called La Pobla de Segur. He is, however, doing all he can to hide his real wealth, as well as many aspects of his private life. Of course, the list is far from complete, as the wealthy politician also happens to own other properties in the capital, as well as in his native village.
And that’s not the end of the list of Brussels politicians who have amassed huge fortunes. Let’s not forget the green commissioner who lives in an energy-squandering 12-room house. Actually, Commissioner Timmermans also appears to own several properties. This was previously reported by V4NA here: Hypocritical Green Commissioner wastes energy – video