When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's son Yair joined his parents on their diplomatic visit to Brazil in December, journalists inquired as to who would foot the bill. The Prime Minister's Office assured them that the cost would come "out of the Netanyahu family's pocket."
But the expenses haven’t been paid to this day. Yair Netanyahu left an open tab at the Hilton Rio de Janeiro Copacabana of 9,820.66 Brazilian reals (about $2,550) for the room. The bill included accommodations for four nights, and some smaller charges for laundry, services and taxes.
The hotel has sought reimbursement to no avail as of yet. It has appealed to the Foreign Ministry, causing some embarrassment and difficulty. There is no budgetary allotment that allows for covering a debt left behind by the prime minister and foreign minister's son, who made a private vacation out of his parents' state visit.
Details of the unpaid bill provide a glimpse into the conditions enjoyed by the Netanyahu family in Brazil. The first two nights in Yair Netanyahu’s room, including taxes, came to 1,836 reals a night or ($476). The price rose for the last two nights, the 30th and 31st of December, perhaps due to the New Year’s celebrations, and came to 2,827 reals (about $734).
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The Prime Minister’s Office has not responded to questions as to how Yair Netanyahu's flights were covered.
The Foreign Ministry responded: “We are not familiar with this subject. We refer you to the Prime Minister’s Office.”
The Prime Minister’s Office said: “All trips by the Prime Minister’s son are paid for fully by the Netanyahu family. The family received the bill a few days ago and will pay it, as is customary.”