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BBC / debate

Vasile Blaga: I earned one million euro

de Radu Rizea
Luni, 14 aprilie 2008, 11:41 English | Top News

Democrat-Liberal candidate for the Bucharest Mayor Office declares in the weekly BBC / interview that he paid his 215,000 euro debt he had at Senator Verestoy Attila, one of the three owners of the building Blaga bought in 2007, paying a total of 860,000 euro. Meanwhile, Blaga says, the value of the building doubled: "I earned one million euro", Blaga said. During the Debate of the Week program, the candidate explained that he did not negotiate with Verestoy only, but also with Michael Schmidt, manager at Automobile Bavaria, BMW partner in Romania. Vasile Blaga also unveiled who are the natural persons that loaned him 11 billion ROL in June 2007, without any interest, until 2017: his best friends.

According to his wealth statement, Vasile Blaga paid in March 2007 a 430,000 down payment in order to acquire a piece of real estate in downtown Bucharest, near the Democrat-Liberal headquarters. Blaga says he paid meanwhile the 215,000 euro debt he owed to Senator Verestoy Attila and that the final payment, to the last of three owners of the building, will be paid before the end of the year. Blaga explained that Verestoy was not the interim in the deal.

"I have a very good friend, the BMW responsible for Romania, I have known him for 25 years, he is one of the owners and he was the one who first presented me with the offer. It was not Verestoy. The first binding contract was signed in spring 2006, after an expertise company established the price... I am not the kind of man who buys a luxury apartment with 10,000 dollars, I pay the fair price. I paid what I owed Mr. Verestoy, I still have to pay my friend", said Blaga in the interview.

Vasile Blaga currently holds shares at eight commercial companies, including the Romanian Development Bank (BRD-Societe Generale), the Transilvania Bank, Romexterra Bank and Petrolsub S.A, along with RON, euro and USD accounts, two houses in the city of Oradea (Western Romania) and a 3 hectares terrain. The Democrat-Liberal claims that he sold some of the stock in order to pay the 430,000 euro down payment.

"The same apartment I bought... a neighbor bought is for half this price one year before me. I paid some 3,000 euro per square meter, now the price is 7,000. I gained one million euro"

Referring to an 11 billion ROL loan (1.1 million RON, 1 euro = 3.75 RON) loan he got in 2007, without any interest and with a 10 year reimbursement deadline, Blaga says that the natural persons mentioned in the wealth statements as offering the loan are two old friends, but he does not intend to transform them into public figures. One of them is the sister of his best friend, the other is the best friend himself, owners of BAT Medias, an oil and natural gas exploiting company. A company Blaga "helped, when help was needed", as he admits.

"They didn't ask for interest because they are not loan sharks. They are my friends and, if everything goes well, I'll pay them this autumn".

According to later mentions, the loan was not used for buying the Bucharest building, but for acquiring another terrain.

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