In recent years, the VVD has repeatedly failed to register gifts in the form of expensive meals in the gift register of the House of Representatives, although this is mandatory. This involved amounts of at least 12,772 euros per year, reports the research platform Follow the Money (FTM) Saturday.
FTM found out where the money of the ruling party comes from. The medium discovered that the VVD receives many donations through so-called ‘Clubs of 100’. These fundraising clubs regularly held private evenings where donors came into contact with MPs, ministers and other party leaders.
In this way, the VVD would have collected 1.16 million euros in the run-up to the parliamentary elections in 2017.
The wealthy real estate entrepreneur Cor van Zadelhoff is according to FTM one of the main donors of the VVD. Since 2006 he is said to have given a donor dinner at least twice a year in a coach house on his estate in Breukelen.
FTM calculated that the costs per event amounted to at least 6,386 euros. The Political Parties Funding Act (Wfpp) prescribes that parties must disclose all donations above EUR 4,500, even if it concerns gifts in kind, such as food and drinks. The VVD would have failed to do so.
Buffet of stews
Van Zadelhoff denies FTM that he does not think his donations should be public, because according to him not everything he does for the VVD is a donation. “Neither can organizing a dinner. These are friends of mine, they won’t let you pay. I do this all on my own initiative, not because the party asks.”
In the coach house – also known as the VVD club house – one time a buffet of stews and the other time a three-course menu with dishes from the French kitchen would have been eaten.
According to Van Zadelhoff, the dinners were not that luxurious at all. “It’s like student parties. Everyone brings something. One a cake, the other a bottle of wine. I don’t even pay half of what you charge,” the benefactor told me. FTM.
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