September 22, 2020

an opaque maneuver of which the Government refuses to give details


The Juan Carlos I’s decision to leave Spain In the face of judicial investigations into its heritage, it is once again marked by the secrecy and opacity with which the successive governments of democracy have dealt with any significant change in the Royal Household. The Executive of Pedro Sánchez, who defends the “transparency” of all the institutions, refuses instead to explain the negotiations that he has had with the current King Felipe VI on the departure of his father or if his transfer to another country has been a alternative agreed by both parties.

Judicial and political pressure leads the king emeritus to leave Spain to try to save the monarchy from its own scandals.

Judicial and political pressure leads the king emeritus to leave Spain

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It is not known when those conversations occurred, where, and under what circumstances. Neither who was aware of them or why Sánchez did not inform his own vice president, Pablo Iglesias, and the rest of the ministers of Unidas Podemos –as the Minister for Equality, Irene Montero, reproached her on Tuesday– of the route chosen for Juan Carlos I. Other unresolved questions are whether the Executive continues to pay for the security expenses of the former head of state or where the king emeritus, who has been located in the Republic, is currently located. Dominican and others in Portugal.

This Tuesday, Sánchez avoided giving any data on this historic decision during the balance press conference of the political course that he starred in the Palacio de la Moncloa. After his initial intervention, the appearance turned into an impossible dialogue between journalists who wanted to know the details of the march of the first king of the democratic period and a president of the Government closed in gang to provide clarity on what happened.

Asked repeatedly if he knows the country to which the king emeritus has traveled, Sánchez claimed not to have that information. “The most important thing is that Juan Carlos has said that he makes himself available to the Prosecutor’s Office and Justice,” he limited himself to remarking, alluding to the statement released by the monarch’s defense attorney on the same Monday. The President of the Government did not want to explain why he did not inform his own Executive about the departure of the King Emeritus before the release of the Royal Household was known, a ugly gesture by the ministers of United We Can.

“The affairs of the offices between the head of state and the Prime Minister are discreet and confidential. We respect the decision made by the Royal Household because it marks distances on a series of behaviors that may be capable of being classified as irregular. Nothing more than add, “Sánchez insisted every time a journalist asked or asked about the details of the talks with the head of state.

The financing of the king emeritus

Regarding the financing of both the transfer of the King Emeritus where he establishes his habitual residence and his personal security, Sánchez also opted for secrecy. The head of the Executive limited himself to pointing out that the items dedicated to the Royal House are contained in the General State Budgets: “There are all the contributions and all the financing of the Royal House.” The accounts, however, only contemplate a total allocation to the head of state, which last year amounted to 7.88 million euros.

On March 15, one day after the declaration of the state of alarm by the pandemic, Felipe VI announced that he was giving up his father’s inheritance, which also withdrew the budget allocation it had been receiving from the State, after the information published on the scandal of payments from Saudi Arabia to Juan Carlos I and that they placed the current head of state as the second beneficiary of the foundation that received 100 million euros from the Saudi monarchy.

Last month, the Royal House published the last statement of liquidation from the institution’s budget, dated March 31, and stated that the allocation that Felipe VI withdrew in mid-March to the king emeritus will not return to the coffers of the State, but will be dedicated to unforeseen events of the royal family.

As a result of his son’s decision, Juan Carlos I will no longer receive 161,034 euros this year from the 200,000 initially planned. In 2020, the monarch has only received the corresponding amount of his allocation from January 1 to March 15, about 40,000 euros. The current head of state received in 2019 a salary of 248,562.36 euros, higher than in 2018 when applying the increase in the salary increase of public employees.

Sánchez speaks of “questionable and reprehensible behaviors”

Aside from the monetary issues, in his appearance on Tuesday Sánchez did want to make clear his commitment to the Spanish monarchy, considering that in investigations into the king emeritus “institutions are not judged, people are judged.” “Spain needs stability and robust institutions, and these have to be paid with exemplary, transparency and regeneration. The line marked by the Royal Household is considered to be the appropriate one,” he pointed out, to insist on his commitment to the current framework of parliamentary monarchy: “The Government that I preside considers the constitutional pact fully in force”.

Sánchez did not want to enter to assess whether it is time to open the melon of the debate between monarchy or republic as proposed by its government partner, Unidas Podemos. And he expressed his “absolute respect for the decisions that the Royal House has taken”, since it involves “distancing himself from alleged questionable and reprehensible behaviors by a member of the Royal Household”, behaviors that, according to him, could be investigated judicial and some “criminal reproach”.

Rubalcaba and his role in abdication

The opacity of the King Emeritus’s departure from the country follows in the wake of other great state decisions about the monarchy, such as Juan Carlos I’s own abdication in 2014, also loaded with secrecy. Then, the process was piloted by the Government of Mariano Rajoy with the complicity of the PSOE led by the late Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba. Despite the internal questioning of this in one of the most convulsive periods of socialism, and after the debacle in the European elections of that year, over time it became known that Rajoy He expressly asked Rubalcaba not to resign until the then king’s abdication so that he could control the PSOE during the process.

As happened on Monday, when the decision of Juan Carlos I was known by surprise through a statement from the Royal Household, on June 2, 2014 it was Rajoy himself who, in an unexpected appearance, announced that he had received the request of the king emeritus for his abdication. Like now, at that time they did not want to give details about the talks between the Government and the Head of State, nor between the Executive and the PSOE.

Juan Carlos I also leaves Spain, without providing any transparency on the open judicial processes that directly involve him. The Supreme Court Prosecutor’s Office has been open for two months an investigation to assess if the king emeritus committed money laundering and tax offense in connection with the AVE to Mecca. At the discretion of the Prosecutor’s Office, Juan Carlos I ceased to be protected by his inviolability when he abdicated in June 2014, and therefore from that date possible crimes that he would have committed can be investigated. Not so with those that would have happened while he held the throne.

Open processes

However, this criterion would be different in Switzerland, where the king emeritus is also being investigated for the origin of his fortune. The British The Telegraph has published that the current king of Spain, Felipe VI, was one of the beneficiaries of the foundation that Juan Carlos de Borbón would have created and in which 100 million dollars of Saudi Arabia were received.

In addition, last week, the judge of the Villarejo case, Manuel García-Castellón, ordered the reopening of piece number 5, called Carol, which was investigating in the National Court the indications of crimes that emerge from some recordings seized from the commissioner in which he and Corinna Larsen, ex-partner of the king emeritus, appear and who point to Juan Carlos I, Although the former head of state cannot be investigated by the National Court as he is heard before the Supreme Court.

Another of the issues that cloud the management of Juan Carlos I is the trip he made the first days of 2016 to French Polynesia with money from the Zagatka Foundation, an instrumental society in Liechtenstein controlled by his cousin Álvaro de Orleans, which, according to reports last month The confidential, it would have been used for years by the monarch to hide part of his fortune abroad. The aforementioned society also paid the expenses of the four escorts of the king emeritus.

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