There is a difference of EUR 115,000 between the rental income that Klaus Iohannis included in the wealth statements he filed from 2004 to 2007 and the sums included in the rental contracts, Rise Project journalists write. In reply, the Presidential Administration claims that all rental income has been fully declared.
According to the wealth statement filed by President Klaus Iohannis early this year, he and his wife have an annual rental income of RON 228,132, this sum being included in all wealth statements that Iohannis filed at the Sibiu City Hall from 2010 to 2014.
Rise Project journalists claim that from 2004 to 2007 Klaus Iohannis allegedly declared a smaller rental income, this being shown by some of the rental contracts that Iohannis signed with companies that opened offices in the buildings he owned, contracts obtained from the Trade Registry where they were filed by the said companies in order to prove that they were legally operating there.
According to the aforementioned source, from 2004 to 2007, the time period covered by the documents obtained by Rise Project, the difference between the sums included in the contracts and the ones declared by Iohannis in his wealth statements stands at EUR 115,000. Thus, the contracts allegedly show that during that period Iohannis registered a rental income of EUR 150,000, while in his wealth statements he only declared EUR 35,000.
The first rental contract was signed in November 2001 with Raiffeisen Bank. According to the contract, the Iohannis family and Ioan Bastea, co-owners of a commercial space located in downtown Sibiu (Nicolae Balcescu 29), rented out their property for a period of five years to a Raiffeisen bank branch, for USD 20,000 per year. The contract was renewed on 29 December 2006 through an additional act, being extended for ten years, and Raiffeisen took the commitment to pay in advance the rent owed for the first three years: EUR 180,000.
Half of the sum, EUR 90,000 (RON 302,000), should have went to Klaus Iohannis and his wife, however that sum is not found in the wealth statement that Sibiu Mayor Klaus Iohannis filed in 2008. Instead, Iohannis declared a much lower sum – RON 16,278. In fact, the same sum (RON 16,278) is found in the wealth statements filed in 2005 and 2006 when, according to the contract with Raiffeisen, the Mayor of Sibiu should have collected a rent of USD 10,000 per year (RON 28,800 in 2005 and RON 29,800 in 2006).
Contacted by the Rise Project, Raiffeisen Bank stated that it always pays the rent in line with the financial data stipulated by the contract: “The Sibiu branch is headquartered in the building located on 29 Nicolae Balcescu Street since 2002 (the contract was signed in November 2001 but came into force on 1 February 2002 – editor’s note), on the basis of a rental contract that has been periodically updated both in what concerns the price as well as other terms too. We cannot comment on the information concerning the rent that the bank owes to the owner of the building, this being part of a commercial contract whose confidentiality has to be kept. However, in all situations the bank makes the payments at the level and frequency stipulated by the contracts in force at that moment. (…) We consider that the rent for this building has evolved in line with the market.”
Rise Project journalists also claim that the differences between the rental incomes declared in Iohannis’s wealth statement and the figures included in the rental contracts also appear in the case of another building, namely a six-room apartment that the Head of State and his wife own on Somesului Street in Sibiu.
Thus, Klaus and Carmen Iohannis rented out this apartment to Netex Production, a company based in Timisoara, on 25 June 2003. The rental contract allegedly shows that the President and his wife collected from Netex Production the following sums: RON 38,880 (EUR 9,600, in 2004), RON 38,533 (EUR 10,650, in 2005) and RON 42,600 (EUR 12,100, in 2006). Nevertheless, in his wealth statement Iohannis declared a single sum for all these years – RON 19,424.
Rise Project journalists also claim that Klaus Iohannis’s wealth statements, those filed in 2005-2008 as well as those filed later on, also contain other discrepancies or data that raise question marks when compared to known information.
Presidential Administration: President Iohannis’ earnings duly stated in tax returns
The Presidential Administration said that all the incomes collected by President Klaus Iohannis from rents can be found in his successively filed tax returns.
“All the incomes obtained by President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Iohannis, from the renting out of owned or co-owned buildings can be entirely found in the tax returns filed. No rent income went undeclared since 2004 to the present day,” the Presidential Administration said in a release to Agerpres on Monday.
According to the cited source, Klaus Iohannis has duly paid all the taxes on the rent he collected on his own behalf and on behalf of the co-owner.
“All proceeds were mentioned in the successively submitted tax returns and any other way of calculating the amount is mere speculation which does not match reality,” concludes the Presidential Administration.