President János Áder’s foundation to fight climate change bought a 1,500-square-meter villa on Pasaréti Road in Buda for at least 1.5-2 billion Ft. (US $4.6-6.2 million), news channel RTL Klub uncovered.
As it turns out, Áder’s Blue Planet Foundation just recently received an annual government grant for 1.5 billion Ft., and a week ago their capital fund also received a 5.5 billion Ft. (US $17.0 million) non-refundable grant.
MP Bence Tordai from Párbeszéd expressed his opinion about the purchase of the Buda villa to the station:
Taxpayer money passes through a foundation into a limited liability company, and from that point on it falls out of any meaningful controls. Something is really not right when money provided to protect the climate is used to acquire an enormous piece of real estate, and from then on it can be used for anything at all.
Gergely Gulyás was also asked about the real estate purchase at the latest Government Informational Session. The Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office told reporters that he respects the foundation’s activities, but that they would have to ask them about any specifics of the deal.
The Blue Planet Foundation told RTL that the villa was purchased for revenue-generating purposes so that they could have a steady income from renting it out, then spend the funds on sustainability-related issues. The foundation also said that the cost of purchasing the villa came from state benefits they had received over the past three years.