The recent publishing of a list of all people living in state-owned housing brought up some names of people working in private companies, or owning private companies, who have contracts with RA-APPS, the Government agency which handles state owned real estate assets. Former ministers, some from the communist period, former prosecutor Joita Tanase, opera singer Seymour Patricia, the president of the Romanian Cultural Institute Andrei Marga, VP of the Anti-doping National Agency Doina Melinte, two presidential advisers, the president of the Court of Accounts Nicolae Vacaroiu are among those who pay rent to the RA-APPS for state – owned houses.
The list also includes Romanian businessman Ion Tiriac, who pays a rent of EUR 26,700 for an area of 21 sqm, which is the highest rent throughout the list. Tiriac explained he bought the villa 15 years ago from its owner and that he pays the rent only on a piece of land and on a ground floor and a basement room, which belong to the state.
The level of rent varies throughout the list, on unknown criteria, which does not seem linked to the apartment/house area. For example Cristian Valentin Colţeanu, former Romanian ambassador to Italy, now head of General Electric Romania, pays EUR 383 for 106 sqm, while presidential adviser Bogdan Manoiu pays some RON 535 (equivalent of EUR 118) for 138 sqm. The state institutions where the tenants work pay for the housing expenses, but only up to RON 1,550 (or EUR 344) a month, and the difference is covered by the tenants. MP Mircea Geoana pays EUR 3,195 a month for an 8-roomed apartment on some 264 sqm.
The Government also published a separate list, of people who should no longer live in houses owned by the state – some of them are former ministers and former VPs of state institutions. This list only includes five people. The list of clerks includes over 160 people living in state -owned housing, and most of the rents paid to the state are well under market prices. For some however, the prices are higher and closer to market prices– for example Romanian MEP Adrian Severin pays EUR 790 for some 192 sqm.
Prime Minister Ponta recently said the number of work provided houses from RA-APPS should be reduced to 20 to 50, plus ten protocol villas for the head of the state, Parliament chambers’ presidents and the PM, and the rest should be sold. The recently published list reveals 258 people live in state-owned houses.