Article courtesy of Mondoraro magazine – www.mondoraro.org
The real estate holdings of Damanhur valued at more than 24 million – who do they really belong to?
In my previous article I talked about the personal estate of Oberto Airaudi, founder of Damanhur, better known by the name of ‘Falco’.
In this article I want to talk about the real estate holdings of Damanhur valued at around 24 million euro. I am interested in this subject because from the testimonies I have collected it would appear that ‘theoretically’ at least, certain cooperatives are the owners of this wealth but in fact this is not the case…but let’s look at things one at a time.
According to the Italian Civil Code, a Cooperative Society is a Society constituted by at least three members who communally manage a company and who set themselves the goal of furnishing members, as stated above, with all the goods and services for which the cooperative was founded. Article 45 of the Constitution recognizes the social function of cooperation as mutual aid and not as private speculative ends.
Please note: not for private speculative ends. In practice a cooperative is a company, in the form of a society, in which the ends and the basis of its economic action lies in the satisfaction of the needs of its members, not just one member, but all members!
The distinctive and unifying element of every kind of cooperative is firmly and quite precisely based on its mutual aims, which consist, according to the type of cooperative, of assuring its members work, consumer goods, or services, in better conditions than those obtained in a free market.
On the basis of the Civil Code there are cooperative societies which are prevalently mutual because of their type of mutual exchange, those which (art.2512):
- Carry out their activities prevalently in favour of their members, consumers or users of goods and services;
- Which prevalently centre around the carrying out of their activities and the work furnished by their members:
- Which prevalently centre on the carrying out of their activities and the production of goods and services on the part of their members.
Another characteristic of cooperatives is the per capita vote of their members, or the fact that every member has the right to vote in General Assemblies, independent of the value of their quota of social capital. The main characteristic of cooperatives is the principle of equality between members (economic democracy), which implies, above all, besides the per capita vote, the necessity for a motivated decision on the reason for admission or the denial of admission with regard to new members.
Other fundamental characteristics include:
– The so called principle of an open door (it is not necessary to modify the Act of Constitution following the admission of new members);
– The variable capital of the cooperative society (art 2511).
– The participation of the cooperative’s members in the social capital can be represented by quotas (if the structure of an s.r.l. is adopted) or shares (if a structure of a society based on shares is adopted).
After this brief explanation on how cooperatives function, let’s go back to Damanhur.
I will try to explain the problem as simply as possible.
The Damanhurian cooperatives purchase and manage various properties, the members of the cooperatives head the cooperative, in this case all the members of the Damanhurian Community. Every member is therefore owner of one or more quotas inside the cooperative. This in practice signifies that if a Damanhurian decides to leave the cooperative, he or she has the right to have their quota liquidated. This is what should normally happen…pity that in Damanhur this does not happen and that those who leave are liquidated with a nice ‘goodbye’… no money! Yes, you read correctly: no money!
It would seem that the two cooperatives, the PEAL and ATALJI of Damanhur (for which we make available the accounts for the year ending 31/12/2008), have loans with several banks to the tune of 10 million euro, guaranteed by the real estate holdings of Damanhur.
Question: Where has that 10 million euro gone?
To demonstrate what I am saying I have also inserted a list of the properties owned by Damanhur, which are valued at more than 24 million euro, and obviously where the properties are located.
At this point we have the right to ask: if the quotas of the Damanhurians who leave are not liquidated, who really owns the real estate?
I hope that readers will understand from my article that it is the Damanhurians who are the victims and for that reason my report does not wish to damage the victims in any way, on the contrary it is aimed at opposing he, who by means of Damanhur, has got rich on ‘the backs of others’.
Translated from the Italian original
(DIO Ed. the financial documents can be viewed via links positioned under the article on the MondoRaro site)