A literature student in Vienna and a descendant of the founders of BASF, a multinational chemical company with 78 billion euros in revenue, Austrian Marlene Engelhorn, 30, has decided that she will reject 90% of an inheritance of 4.2 billion euros (equivalent to R $21.9 billion) for believing that the income she didn’t work for wouldn’t make her happy.
The young woman, who is part of Millionaires for Humanity, a group that advocates that the super-rich be “taxed the same as workers”, will receive the money when her grandmother, Traudl Engelhorn-Vechiatto, dies.
When the 95-year-old’s wish was revealed, the heiress made her intentions public.
“When the announcement was made, I realized that I couldn’t be really happy. I thought to myself: Something is wrong,” the woman said in an interview with the German newspaper Der Standard.
Asked what her grandmother thought when she made the announcement, the woman said the elderly woman “gave her enormous freedom to do whatever she wanted.”
The statement, considered “controversial”, projected the billionaire’s name in the international press and made her grant other interviews talking about taxing the richest.
“This is not a matter of wanting, but a matter of justice. I did nothing to receive this inheritance. It was pure luck in the birth lottery. A coincidence,” he said in an interview with the German channel Orf 2.
At the time, she also stated that she still doesn’t know what she’s going to do with the money and called some acts of benevolence announced by “super rich” as “neofeudalism” disguised as charity, since they, even when they let go of their riches, have the power to decide where they are sent.
“Society doesn’t have to rely on millionaires going to be benevolent. I exchange ideas with other people, learning as much as I can to see what works and what doesn’t. taxes is very important, because that is what determines how wealth will be distributed”, he said.