Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 09:25
King's Greek villa costs taxpayers extra €500k annually
The rent for the two strips of land around the Greek vacation home of King Willem-Alexander and his family has already cost the Dutch state €461,000. This land was used for a security fence, and the money was paid to a neighbor, according to RTL Nieuws. According to documents obtained by RTL Nieuws, the acquisition of this land went through the neighbor and a Greek lawyer, under instructions from Minister Ivo Opstelten (Security and Justice) to make the deal whatever the cost. The Greek lawyer acted on behalf of Minister Opstelten and a notary public as "special plenipotentiary and agent of the state" to handle negotiations on the land. According to RTL Nieuws, the lawyer had the Dutch state pay almost half a million for this land, while the market worth, according to the documents, only amounts to €35,414. Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who earlier asked for transparency on the exact role of the government in this private home as well as the consequences for the treasury, reportedly withheld the sum of €461,000 in answer to earlier Parliamentary questions. It is also unclear how much more costs the state is giving to the property, on top of the lease of the land. The official reason for the acquisition of the land, which the Dutch state has the right to lease for 30 years, is for a 'security fence'. Prime Minister Rutte in July did not answer questions why the fence could not be placed on the vacation home's own land, why the extra purchase was necessary. In answer to this question, the Netherlands Government Information Service (RVD) tells RTL Nieuws that the land was bought for security measures. "For safety reasons, the provision of information about the manner of security is practiced with as much reserve as possible. Therefore, there will be no more statements." The neighbor will not comment about arrangements she made with the Dutch government.