Juan Carlos I has been exiled for two years in the United Arab Emirates. This Monday, the ex-king of Spain was received by his son, King Felipe VI, after a controversial first visit to Spain.
Leaving for Abu Dhabi in August 2020 against a backdrop of accusations of embezzlement, Juan Carlos arrived shortly after 10 a.m. (French time) at the Zarzuela Palace, official residence of the King of Spain, AFP noted. For the first time since his departure for exile, he will see his son, King Felipe VI, and his wife, Queen Sofia, from whom Juan Carlos has been separated for a long time. He will then leave for Abu Dhabi at the end of the day.
“Insufficient incriminating evidence”
This brief visit to Spain by Juan Carlos, who arrived Thursday evening by private jet in Galicia (North-West) to attend a regatta, comes after the Spanish justice system in March closed the investigations targeting him and relating to suspicions of corruption and of bleaching.
The prosecution had indicated that it could not prosecute him “because of the insufficiency of incriminating evidence, the prescription of offenses and the immunity” which he enjoyed as head of state until 2014. He had, however, highlighted the “fiscal irregularities” of which the former king had been guilty.
“Explanations about what? »
But the revelations about the opaque origin of his fortune have forever tarnished, in much of Spanish public opinion, the image of this figure adored for decades for having led Spain’s democratic transition after his death. of the dictator Francisco Franco in 1975.
“Juan Carlos lost an opportunity to give explanations and ask for forgiveness during this visit of a few days,” left-wing government spokeswoman Isabel Rodríguez said on public radio RNE on Monday. During his weekend in the coastal town of Sanxenxo in Galicia, Juan Carlos had replied curtly “explanations on what? when asked by reporters if he planned to tell his son about his conduct.
Father son estrangement
Trying to restore the image of the Spanish monarchy since his accession to the throne in 2014, Felipe VI has distanced himself from his father. He thus decided in March 2020 to renounce the inheritance of his father and to withdraw his annual allowance of nearly 200,000 euros.
More recently, at the end of April, with the government, he launched a “transparency” operation for the royal palace, which will now have to have its accounts audited, make its contracts public or even draw up an inventory of the gifts received by the royal family.