Protocol villa revamped with EUR 7 M public money. Future owner – a mystery

In an exclusive area of Bucharest, on Bulevardul Aviatorilor, a building owned by the Autonomous Directorate of the “State Protocol Heritage Administration” (RA-APPS) is undergoing a mysterious renovation and development project worth 7 million euros, according to Recorder journalists. However, the identity of the family set to benefit from these works remains undisclosed for now, but the media in Bucharest says it is about to be allotted to Klaus Iohannis when it ends its presidential term.

“The 1200 sqm villa, with basement, ground floor and first floor, garage and guard booth at the gate belongs to the state and was, until recently, party headquarters. For several months, it has been converted, in the utmost secrecy, into a single-family residence, according to the building permit obtained by the Recorder. And the amount that RA-APPS intends to invest here exceeds any imagination: 7 million euros only for renovation and fitting out”, according to the media investigation.

Photovoltaic panels will also be installed on the roof of the villa, in order to minimize the costs that arise when you live in such a house. According to Recorder journalists, all indications point to one name when it comes to the beneficiary of this multi-million euro renovation, especially since the law states that of all those who can benefit from official residences, only former heads of state provides maintenance expenses.

“It is legitimate to ask for whom it is being prepared. On what and especially for whom are 7 million euros of public money being spent, in the greatest secrecy? According to the law, the circle of dignitaries who would be entitled to such protocol housing offered by the state is very limited. And most of the clues lead to the same person,” according to the investigation published Monday by the Recorder.

After the renovation, the villa on Aviatorilor Boulevard will have a floor of 320 sqm with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, two conservatories, two gyms and a dressing room of almost 67 sqm. On the ground floor there will be a cabinet for protocol (also provided for by law for former state presidents), a library, family living room, guest living room, kitchen, pantry and another dressing room. In the basement there will be space for a boiler, technical room, laundry and storage spaces.

PM Ciolacu knows nothing

Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu declared, on Tuesday, that he does not know for whom the investment of 7 million euros is made from the public funds of the Autonomous Directorate of the State Protocol Heritage Administration (RA APPS) in the villa on Aviatorilor Boulevard in Bucharest, which was the headquarters PNL and then ALDE. “Like you, I found out about these amounts from the media. (…) I cannot prohibit RA APPS or the General Secretariat from making a multi-year investment plan”, Ciolacu also stated.

Asked if the investment is for the President of Romania, Marcel Ciolacu answered: “First of all, I don’t know if the expenses are 7 million. I, like you, found out about these amounts from the press. It is a villa of RA APPS, it is neither the first nor the last, where investments are made. They were resignations from certain political parties. With certainty, today, I, Marcel Ciolacu, cannot answer you whether it is ready for the president or not, or for another dignitary”.

Questioned about the destination of the considerable amount being invested in this project, the Prime Minister said: “It is being carried out through RA APPS. The General Secretariat (of the Government – editor’s note) is subordinate to the RA APPS, who do the bidding and…it depends on how many square meters it has. If it’s 10,000 square meters, I don’t know how gigantic the investment is.”

The same discussion took place at Vila Lac 1. And I told you that, from my point of view, it is not, at this moment, a priority for the Government of Romania. Now I can’t even forbid RA APPS or the General Secretariat from making a multi-year investment plan, because I don’t even want the news at this moment to be very clear, sir, 7 million is spent in a month for 100 square feet. Let’s get all the information from RA APPS and naturally I will ask the general secretary for all the information and I am firmly convinced that you will have the answers”, the Prime Minister added.

The Presidential Administration replied that there is no request from President Klaus Iohannis for the assignment of a protocol residence and a space for the organization of the work cabinet, both with the destination of residence, after the termination of the mandate.

“There is no request from the President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, or the Presidential Administration for the assignment of a protocol residence and a space for the organization of the work cabinet, both with the destination of residence, after the termination of the mandate of the President of Romania, in accordance with the provisions of Law no. 406/2001 regarding the granting of certain rights to persons who held the position of head of the Romanian state, with subsequent amendments and additions”, the Presidential Administration said.

Autonomous Directorate of the "State Protocol Heritage Administration"klaus iohannismysteryprotocol villaRA-APPSRecorderrenovationrevampedvilla
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  • Panagiotis Spyridis

    Host it as a refuge for all the homeless of the Historic Center. Money is better spent this way.