Romania presidential elections 2019: Eight presidential candidates earn more than Romania’s president
Eight of Romanian president Klaus Iohannis’ challengers to the presidential seat made more money than the president himself in 2018, Romania-Insider.com has calculated based on the wealth statements submitted by the 14 presidential candidates to the Central Electoral Bureau (BEC).
Businessman Viorel Catarama, who owns local furniture retailer Elvila, was the top earner of the group last year. He made RON 1.67 million (over EUR 357,000), which included his management fee as general manager of Elvila, as well as revenues from renting properties and farmland he owns in Romania and abroad. Catarama is also the richest candidate. Besides his shares in Elvila group, he also owns over 200 hectares of land (mostly agricultural), 8 villas and apartments (including one abroad), a motorboat, a ski jet, plus paintings, statues, watches and jewelry worth over EUR 3 million.
The second-highest earner, somehow unexpectedly, was Alexandru Cumpanasu, who is mainly known as the president of an NGO called the Association for Implementing Democracy. Cumpanasu made over RON 1.1 million (EUR 234,000) in 2018, almost half of which came from the NGO under the form of copyright revenues. He also earned salaries from the Political Studies University – SNSPA, mineral water producer Romaqua Group, and UEFICSDI, a state institution subordinated to the Education Ministry that promotes quality and leadership in the higher education and research sector. The local media wrote that most of Cumpanasu’s revenues actually came from the state, as his NGO has had multiple contracts with state institutions. Moreover, his wife also earned close to RON 600,000 (EUR 130,000) from roughly the same sources, according to Digi24.ro. Alexandru Cumpanasu and his wife also own 7 residential properties, which also brought them significant rental revenues.
The third candidate by income was John Ion Banu, who represents the community of Romanians living in the US. He made over EUR 144,000 in 2018 from his business and other investments as well as from pensions and farming.
Retired actor Mircea Diaconu is fourth in the income ranking, with close to EUR 100,000 made in 2018. He received most of the money (EUR 81,000) for his activity as a member of the European Parliament. He also received pension in Romania.
Catalin Ivan, also a former MEP, earned EUR 82,000 from the EP and from renting a property. He is followed by prime minister Viorica Dancila, who earned EUR 65,000 in 2018, for her work as MEP and then prime minister, and Kelemen Hunor, the leader of the Hungarian Democrat Union – UDMR, who made EUR 47,000 as a member of the Romanian Parliament and party leader.
Actor Bogdan Stanoevici, the director of the Metropolitan Circus in Bucharest, earned EUR 43.500 from his management salary as well as from freelance work as an actor and consultant for the circus.
President Klaus Iohannis is just ninth in this ranking, with a total income of RON 200,000 (EUR 42,700) in 2018, of which RON 165,000 represents his salary as president of Romania and 35,000 came from rental revenues. The president and his wife own four properties in Sibiu.
Dan Barna, the leader of opposition party Save Romania Union (USR), is tenth in the ranking, with revenues of EUR 35,000 from his MP salary and rents. A former EU funds consultant, Barna owns three apartments and has over RON 1.4 million (EUR 300,000) invested in financial instruments.
The lowest earner in 2018 was Ramona Ioana Bruynseels, who reported revenues of only EUR 2,800 as secretary of state and advisor to the defense minister (in January-March 2018). However, she is one of the wealthiest candidates as her husband, Dominic Bruynseels, has been CEO of several banks in Romania, UK and South Africa. The couple owns six residential properties, jewelry and art objects worth EUR 100,000, and financial assets worth several million euros.
(Photo source: Klaus Iohannis Facebook page)