Tuesday, July 5

Zarzuela dispatches the visit of the king emeritus without a single reproach and leaves the door open for him to reside in Spain


Ostentation and haughtiness. It is the definition of the brief trip of Juan Carlos I to Spain that has angered the Government of Pedro Sánchez even more for mocking the explanations that he demands for his tax scandals. “He could have been much more careful on this first visit to our country,” the coalition spokeswoman, Isabel Rodríguez, said in an interview on RNE early Monday morning. Her words came after a weekend of constant media torpedoing about the exploits of the emeritus king in Sanxenxo, which was the first (and longest) stop on his trip to Spain after almost two years of exile. The following was the reunion with his family in Zarzuela that lasted for more than ten hours and that the Royal House dispatched in a statement in which it avoids reproaching the former head of state for his behavior and opens the door to his definitive return. .

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“HM the King and Don Juan Carlos have had a long conversation about family issues as well as about different events and their consequences in Spanish society,” reads the statement that Zarzuela has issued after 9:00 p.m. on Monday when the emeritus has headed back to the United Arab Emirates. In addition to that talk, the king emeritus has participated in a “family lunch” with the king and queen and their daughter the infanta Sofía and in which the infanta Elena and her children have been, as well as the infanta Margarita and Carlos Zurita. “Queen Sofía has not been able to share lunch having tested positive for Covid upon her return from Miami, although she has remained with the rest of the family in the lunch room provided with the mandatory mask and the corresponding ventilation measures,” reports Operetta. Neither the Infanta Cristina – with whom Felipe de Borbón and Letizia Ortiz broke off relations due to the Nóos case that led Iñaki Urdangarin to prison – nor her children have attended.

“Late in the afternoon, Don Juan Carlos has embarked on his return trip to Abu Dhabi. As was made public, in his letter to His Majesty the King dated March 5, Don Juan Carlos stated, first of all, his desire to establish his permanent and stable place of residence in Abu Dhabi for personal reasons; and secondly, his decision to organize his personal life and his place of residence in areas of a private nature, both during his visits and if he were to reside in Spain again in the future, in order to continue enjoying the greatest possible privacy”, points out the statement, which leaves there the “reference framework of the activities” of Juan Carlos I.

Both Moncloa and Zarzuela have tried to frame the trip in the private sphere and the meeting in the family. And with that they try to clear the pressure on everything that splashes on Felipe VI. But many questions remain unanswered. Has the current monarch asked his father to give explanations as the president has demanded? Have you reproached him for his behavior during your stay in Sanxenxo that has nothing to do with the “austerity” required by the code of conduct of the House of the King? What is clear in the statement is that Juan Carlos I intends to return and even do so permanently, despite the discomfort that his visit has generated both in the Executive and in the Royal House.

In the Government they already took for granted that Juan Carlos de Borbón would not apologize for having defrauded the Treasury, despite the fact that the investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office was largely shelved due to the regularization of assets and the inviolability that he enjoyed. Government sources already recognized last week that it was difficult for him to make a gesture because, in his opinion, he is not aware of having done anything wrong. “No one controls the emeritus. He has shown signs that he does what he wants, ”said those sources.

But the images of the emeritus on the ‘Bribón’ sailboat entertained by his millionaire friends and the local authorities have annoyed the Government even more, which considers that they also harm his son, who is whom Sánchez tries to shield. “Explanations of what?” Juan Carlos I replied in a cocky tone to a journalist who asked him if he intended to give any, as the Government has demanded.

“During these days of visit, King Juan Carlos has lost an opportunity that the Spaniards expected to give explanations, to ask for forgiveness. He has lost the opportunity that Spanish society and democracy deserves, ”said the spokeswoman for the Executive in an interview on RNE even before the presenter asked her about this matter. “Fortunately, the king is doing a formidable exercise to recover that essence that must prevail in a State institution that is transparency, that is exemplary,” he immediately added in his response to the first question of the interview, which was about the meeting that they were going to support father and son.

“The problem is that he can do it because he enjoys impunity and anyone who holds office can do it again. The republican horizon is the only way out”, said, for her part, the Minister of Social Rights and the 2030 Agenda and leader of Podemos, Ione Belarra. The forces of the right, which are the only ones that have applauded the fleeting return of the former head of state, take advantage of that position of minority partner to attack the government for the supposed danger it poses to the monarchy.

However, the House of the King itself has shown the discomfort generated by the presence of the monarch’s father, whose movements since arrival have been televised live. Despite having lasted for almost the entire day, the meeting with Felipe VI was not even included in the weekly agenda, which has a blank Monday. Zarzuela has not even offered a photograph of the family reunion after twenty months of separation.

In these almost two years, only a telephone conversation between Felipe VI and Juan Carlos I has emerged that occurred when the monarch traveled to Abu Dhabi for the death of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed al Nahyan. The intention was to make it clear that they had not seen each other in the emirate in which he resides since he left Spain in August 2020, although it was the opportunity to communicate that they would do so on one of the trips that the emeritus announced when the investigation was filed. of the public ministry and that he framed at all times in the “private sphere”. With that tagline, Felipe VI and the Government save themselves the trouble of Juan Carlos de Borbón staying in Zarzuela or National Heritage facilities.

The arrival of the emeritus to what was his residence for several decades has been almost clandestine if it were not for the media deployment that was posted on the El Pardo highway, at the entrance to the site but several kilometers from the palace. Barely fifty people came to tuck him in and, on this occasion, he limited himself to greeting them from the car without lowering the window. The faithful dressed in Spanish flags excused the behavior of Juan Carlos de Borbón, as some of those attending the regattas in Sanxenxo have done throughout the weekend, reports David Noriega.

On this occasion, Moncloa has not informed the PP of what is related to the emeritus’s trip, according to government sources, because it is “a personal trip.” The Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, did discuss with the main opposition party the reform of the operating regulations of the Royal House, to which Felipe VI was forced as a gesture of transparency. However, the measures fall short in terms of transparency and there is still the great reform pending, which is the elimination of the inviolability that Sánchez has defended after the scandals of the former monarch. The Government’s argument for not carrying it out now is that it does not currently have the PP to address such an important measure, since it requires a reform of the Constitution. “We recognize the work that the current head of state is doing so that there is transparency and a modernization of the institution,” responded the PSOE spokesman, Felipe Sicilia, to the question of what leads them to think that Felipe VI will not follow the steps of his father if that prerogative is not taken away.




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