September 23, 2020

Former ministers, regional presidents and ambassadors claim their legacy amid the scandal


What is known. The Prosecutor’s Office of the Supreme Court is investigating whether he committed a laundering crime by moving capital from Switzerland from his hidden assets after leaving the throne in 2014. Before the Justice of that country, one of the managers of the royal estate, Arturo Fassana, who also handled the money de Gürtel, said that in 2010, when he was still head of state, he personally took a suitcase to Geneva full of tickets to enter 1.7 million dollars that the Sultan of Bahrain had given him.

The destiny of the emeritus king to flee from his scandals: an authoritarian and opaque country that has been forgiven everything for economic interests

The fate of the emeritus king: an authoritarian and opaque country that is forgiven all for economic interests

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It is more than told that the result of another gift, Juan Carlos I also received 65 million euros in a Geneva branch from the Ministry of Finance of Saudi Arabia and the suspicions of the Swiss prosecutor Yves Bertossa is that it is an illegal commission resulting from the intervention of the monarch to obtain that the Spanish companies made a substantial reduction in the work of the Ave a La Mecca. Executives of the Mirabaud bank admitted to the Swiss investigators that after the scandal of the hunting of elephants in Botswana broke out, the entity invited the monarch to withdraw that heritage from there. All those millions ended up in an account of his then lover Corinna Larsen who has declared that it was a donation because of how well he had taken care of the king.

They have also been published, without anyone having denied it, information based on extracts from your Swiss account showing cash withdrawals of 100,000 euros per month between 2008 and 2012 while he received an annual salary allocation of 300,000 euros from the General State Budget.

The scandal has reached the point that Felipe VI has decided to renounce the inheritance, after hiding for a year the information that Corina Larsen sent to the Royal House about the Saudi donation, and after learning that the current king was the second beneficiary in one of the companies created to receive the money.

All those millions were hidden from the Spanish treasury for more than a decade. But the emeritus king could only be investigated for what he did after leaving the head of state. The latest revelations have led him to leave the country. A statement from the Royal House announced on August 3 that he had left the Palacio de Zarzuela, where he had been living for 58 years to settle abroad. Fourteen days later, another note from the King’s House communicated the destination: the United Arab Emirates.

Despite the long list of scandals that threaten the credibility of the country, here at home the king still has someone to write to him. While the misadventures of Juan Carlos I occupy pages and more pages in foreign media, former leaders of the PP and PSOE who have carried out important political responsibilities come to his defense with a statement that appeals to the presumption of innocence and complains of unfair treatment of the former monarch.

The day his departure became known, Le Monde titled: “Juan Carlos, former Spanish monarch suspected of corruption, goes into exile.” The BBC also covered the news: “The former Spanish king leaves the country.” The Corriere della Sera also spoke of exile, driven by corruption and La República was even more forceful: “Overwhelmed by scandals, King Juan Carlos leaves the country.”

In that reparation operation represented by the manifest The signatures of more than seventy former ministers, former regional presidents, ambassadors and other former high-ranking officials linked mainly to the PP and the PSOE, but also to the defunct UCD are included. “The work of King Juan Carlos can never be erased for the benefit of democracy and the Nation, under penalty of social ingratitude that would presage nothing good for the whole of Spanish society,” the text says.

Among the former high officials who subscribe to this and other statements about the defense of the Crown or the presumption of innocence of the monarch are former vice presidents of the Government such as the socialist Alfonso Guerra, who this Wednesday said in an interview in the Ser string that he does not share the “way of forcing” King Felipe VI to take away his father’s abilities. “I think this [la salida del rey emérito] it has not been done well (…). That a son repudiates his father is not seen as a trust generator, “he said.

The manifesto is also signed by former PSOE ministers such as Matilde Fernández, Cristina Alberdi, Celestino Corbacho, Julián García Vargas, César Antonio Molina, Javier Gómez Navarro, Jerónimo Saavedra, Gustavo Suárez Pertierra, Carlos Westendorp or Virgilio Zapatero. Except Corbacho –now in Citizens– and Molina, who were in the cabinets of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the rest of the former ministers are linked to the governments of Felipe González, who has publicly defended the “fantastic service” Juan Carlos I as head of state and has warned of the dangers of accepting the information published about his dark businesses. Among the signatures is also that of José Enrique Serrano, who was González’s chief of staff and repeated in office with Zapatero.

Other historical socialist positions such as former regional presidents Jaime Blanco (Cantabria), Constantino Nalda (Castilla y León), José Rodríguez de la Borbolla (Andalusia), Juan Carlos have supported this text in defense of the legacy of Juan Carlos I. Rodríguez Ibarra (Extremadura) or Antonio Trevín (Asturias). Some of them are part of the so-called ‘old guard’ that had so much weight in the PSOE before the arrival of Pedro Sánchez and how critical she has been at times with the current party leader.

The text is also signed by prominent members of the Executives of José María Aznar and Mariano Rajoy. This is the case of Jaime Mayor Oreja, Rafael Catalá, Esperanza Aguirre, Ana Pastor, Pío Cabanillas, Ana de Palacio, José Ignacio Wert, Margarita Mariscal de Gante or José Manuel Soria. Also former regional presidents of the PP such as Luisa Fernanda Rudi (Aragon) or Juan Vicente Herrera (Castilla y León).

In addition to those mentioned, the manifesto is also signed by former ministers of the extinct UCD such as Rodolfo Martín Villa, Soledad Becerril, Jaime Lamo de Espinosa, Marcelino Oreja, Juan Antonio Ortega and Díaz-Ambrona, Salvador Sánchez Terán, Ignacio Bayón or Jesús Sancho Rof, as well as ambassadors and other former high officials.

“Proliferation of sentences”

The text defends the presumption of innocence of the monarch and disfigures the “proliferation of sentences” that have arisen from the publication of “numerous information” on “certain activities” of the monarch. “If their actions could be worthy of disapproval, the courts will decide,” the manifesto says.

Criticism of the lack of respect for the presumption of innocence has also come in recent days from the socialist part of the Government. Specifically, from Minister Margarita Robles, who criticized in an interview in Europa Press to those who make “judgments of guilt” and do not respect the right of all citizens not to be guilty until proven otherwise. In the opinion of the Defense Minister, those who do not respect the presumption of innocence of the monarch question the “basic pillars of the rule of law.”

The document emphasizes in this regard that “the parliamentary monarchy, as well as the whole of the 1978 Constitution, have fostered a modern Spain, with an advanced political, economic and social system forged in freedom, justice and solidarity” .

Crown Defense

But the text does not only defend the legacy of Juan Carlos I. The signatories make a closed defense of the Crown as an institution precisely when there is in the Government for the first time a party that not only declares itself republican but acts as such. Unidos Podemos, the executive’s junior partner, has been very critical of the management of Juan Carlos I’s departure from Spain, although President Pedro Sánchez has made an effort to publicly settle the debate on a hypothetical consultation with the public.

“The Government that I preside considers the constitutional pact fully in force. And the constitutional pact is the parliamentary monarchy,” he said a day after the Zarzuela made public that Juan Carlos I had left Spain although his fate was still unknown. The Royal House reported 14 days after the emeritus had chosen the United Arab Emirates –an authoritarian and opaque country– to take refuge from controversies about the origin of part of his fortune. Sánchez had said weeks before that the information that had become known about the monarch was “disturbing” and his government pressed for the Royal House to seek a way out of the emeritus king.

The decision of Juan Carlos I to leave Spain opened several fronts in Spanish politics and introduced a crack in the coalition government, seen the differences between the PSOE and United We Can. The leadership of the PP has closed ranks with the previous monarch and even the environment of Casado tries to show that the dismissal of the parliamentary spokesperson, Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo, with whom there was great discomfort in the conservative formation, is related to the criticism that the deputy poured into The country about the departure of Juan Carlos, which he described as a “mistake” after warning that the emeritus king “should have given explanations.” As published ABCThese criticisms of the king were the definitive trigger for his dismissal this Monday.

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