By AFP @CARASmexico
In a surprise announcement, King Felipe VI of Spain resigned this Sunday to receive the inheritance that his father, Juan Carlos, could leave him, and withdrew his assignment from the Royal House, amid suspicions of corruption by the King Emeritus.
“In order to preserve the exemplarity of the Crown”, announced the Royal House in a statement, the monarch announced “his decision to renounce the inheritance of Don Juan Carlos that could personally correspond to him.”
The Royal House indicated that Juan Carlos I, 82, “ceases to receive the allocation he has set”, and that according to Spanish media amounts to more than 194,000 euros per year.
The former head of state, retired from public life since 2019, has had suspicions for years of holding an opaque fortune, especially derived from his ties to the Gulf monarchies.
The current monarch’s decision is known after several press revelations in recent weeks.
The Swiss newspaper Tribune de Geneve published in early March that Juan Carlos received, in 2008, $ 100 million from King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, in an account in Switzerland of a Panamanian foundation.
And the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph indicated on his side this Saturday that Felipe VI was also a beneficiary of that foundation.
In the statement, the Royal House indicated that Felipe VI, who received the crown after his father abdicated in 2014 after a series of scandals, indicated that the monarch was informed in March 2019 by a law firm “of his supposed designation as beneficiary ”of that foundation.
But since he had “no knowledge, participation or responsibility whatsoever in the alleged facts that he mentioned” that communication, he asked his father to “withdraw such designation” and stated before a notary last April that he would not “accept any participation or benefit in that entity”.
Felipe VI also claimed to be unaware “completely and to this day of his supposed designation as beneficiary” of another foundation that according to the press would have financed millions of euros on flights in private jets for Juan Carlos.
According to the statement, Juan Carlos acknowledged that “at no time did he provide information” to the king about these foundations.
Felipe VI renounces “any asset, investment or financial structure whose origin, characteristics or purpose may not be in accordance with the law or with the criteria of fairness and integrity that govern its institutional and private activity,” stressed the Royal House.
Last week, the Spanish Congress of Deputies refused to open a parliamentary investigation into the suspicions of money laundering against the King Emeritus, who enjoys immunity during his years as head of state (November 1975-June 2014).
This investigation was demanded by the radical and openly republican left-wing Podemos party, led by Pablo Iglesias, currently one of the vice-presidents of the government of Podemos coalition with the socialists.
– “Loyal service of the King of Spain” –
Two years ago, in early 2018, Felipe VI still paid tribute to his father, on the occasion of his 80th birthday.
“Congratulations, Your Majesty, and thank you also for so many years of loyal service to Spain,” he said to his father, who was next to his wife Sofia and daughter-in-law, Queen Letizia.
But after 38 years of reign, Juan Carlos had to abdicate in favor of his son in June 2014 in the midst of a series of scandals, such as when he had to apologize for having gone hunting elephants to Africa in the midst of the economic crisis with his then lover Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein.
Scarcely crowned, Felipe VI distanced himself from his predecessor, with the intention of once again polishing the tainted image of the monarchy.
In any case, Juan Carlos, who in 1981 stopped a military coup, will be remembered as one of the architects of the democratic transition in Spain, at the end of the Franco dictatorship (1939-1975).
The monarchy was shaken in previous years by another corruption scandal: in 2018, Felipe VI’s brother-in-law, Inaki Urdangarin was sentenced to more than five years in prison for embezzling for his own benefit millions of euros donated by public bodies to a foundation that he presided.