Austrian Marlene Engelhorn, 30, a literary student in Vienna and descendant of the founders of BASF, a multinational chemical company with revenues of 78 billion euros, decided to reject 90% of the inheritance of 4.2 billion euros (equivalent to R). $21.9 billion) for believing that her non-work income would not make her happy.
The young woman, who is part of Millionaires for Humanity, a group that advocates “equal taxation of workers” for the super-rich, will receive the money when her grandmother Traudel Engelhorn-Vecchiato dies.
When the 95-year-old’s wish was revealed, the heiress made her intentions public.
“When the announcement came, I realized I couldn’t really be happy. I thought to myself: something is wrong,” the young woman said in an interview with German newspaper Der Standard.
Asked what her grandmother thought when she made the announcement, the woman said the elderly woman “gave her a lot of freedom to do whatever she wanted.”
The statement, considered “controversial,” has raised the billionaire’s name in international media and allowed other interviews to talk about taxing the wealthy.
“It’s not a matter of desire, it’s a matter of justice. I did nothing to get this inheritance. It’s pure luck in the birth lottery. Coincidence,” he said in an interview with German channel Orff 2.
At the time, he said he still didn’t know what he was going to do with the money and called some of the acts of charity announced by the “super-rich” “neo-feudalism” disguised as charity, because even if they let go, they still have the power to decide where their wealth is sent.
“Society doesn’t count on the fact that millionaires can be kind. I exchange ideas with others and learn as much as I can to see what works and what doesn’t work. Taxes are very important because they determine how wealth is distributed,” he said.
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