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Yannis Varoufakis’ beautiful wife eschewed paying taxes, too

29 March 2015 / 17:03:03  GRReporter
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Proto Thema weekly has published revelations regarding the luxury homes in Plaka and the island of Aegina, belonging to Danae Stratou, the wife of Finance Minister Yannis Varoufakis.

According to the publication, both the idyllic luxury villa on Aegina and the Plaka apartment have been rented for short stays to tourists, without having the registrations needed for this kind of business.

The paper reports that Mrs. Stratou and her mother Eleni Potaga (another famous artist), who are the owners of the properties, should have obtained a permit from the Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO, Greek: EOT). It is required by law if one is to rent something out, and enables the proper filing of tax returns. Letting an unregistered property might fetch a fine of up to € 50,000.

The publication draws attention to the fact that obtaining this permit is neither expensive nor time-consuming. According to the Daily Mail, the Aegina villa was a rented for €5000 per week.

The couple in their Plaka digs

Proto Thema has sought Varoufakis’ comments as to why the family has failed to duly register with EOT. The Minister however replied he had nothing to do with either the Aegina house or the Plaka apartment.

The actual owners of the island villa are Danae Stratou and her ex-husband Giorgos Momferatos, MEP candidate from New Democracy. The neoclassical apartment at the foot of the Acropolis belongs to Danae's mother, Eleni Potaga. According to an associate of the minister, the latter even paid rent to his mother-in-law for the Plaka apartment. Next week Varoufakis is actually moving out of it to take up residence in Mavili Square.

"These properties are not mine, nor are they in the full ownership of my wife; therefore, I'm not responsible for them," Varoufakis argues.

Proto Thema has found an advertisement for the Plaka apartment and the Aegina villa on the Airbnb web platform. There is a comment by a user, a certain Joaquin, who writes:

"We spent 12 wonderful nights in Aegina. Danae met us at the port with her husband [...]."

The comment betrays that Mr Varoufakis knew the house was being rented.

Danae Stratou's profile in Airbnb

Joaquin’s comment

For the publication, a close associate of the minister maintains that the villa was rented out to tourists last year, but "the proceeds were declared, there is no problem, the only thing missing was the EOT sign." The failure to obtain a permit, according to people close to the minister, was that his wife and the other owners of the properties were unwilling to officially amend their function.

Varoufakis evidently meant that the gains from the two properties will be declared. Noone's income for 2014 can be declared before an official tax return is out and the TAXIS system starts officially receiving returns.

The Aegina villa

It is worth pointing out that Danae Stratou has profiles on well-known renting sites, complete with interior photos of the two places as well as information about furniture and appliances.

E.g., the 175 m² apartment in Plaka, at the foothill of the Acropolis, is described by Danae as "the living place of an artist located in the oldest and quaintest part of Athens, just a breath away from the metro and the new Acropolis Museum."

The apartment has 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a sizeable kitchen; the entrance hall and the living room are decorated with works by Danae Stratou; the furniture is antique. Its price is $174 per night.

The Aegina villa, in the Pagoni region, is offered for a $650 a day. It has 7 bedrooms, a spacious living room and kitchen. It again has works of Danae Stratou. And here goes her warning: "If you like them, enjoy them from a distance, if you don’t – ignore them. In both cases - do not touch them." The house description is quite detailed: there are even instructions where the towels are kept and how the dishwasher operates.

Tags: Yannis Varoufakis Danae Stratou estates villa apartment Plaka Aegina rent
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