One year after King Juan Carlos I left Spain, ongoing investigations into fortune of the emeritus monarch damage his image and compromise the return of the father of the current king, Felipe VI.
“He will not return without the go-ahead” of the Royal House, sentenced the journalist José Apezarena, author of several books on Felipe VI. to questions from AFP.
And “the position of the Royal House is that I do not return until their problems with the law are over, “he added.
In a decision that caused surprise, Juan Carlos I, 83, announced a year ago that he was leaving Spain to prevent his personal affairs from undermining his son’s reign and tainting the institution.
King Don Juan Carlos, in a file image. Photo DPA
However, his decision to settle in the Gulf, specifically in the United Arab Emirates, in a region where some of the businesses that sparked the scandal took place, it created perplexity among the Spanish.
The former monarch is the subject of four investigations, three in Spain and one in Switzerland. Both Switzerland and Spain are analyzing separately whether they received commissions for facilitating the award to a Spanish consortium of the construction of a high-speed train in Saudi Arabia.
Suspicions center on $ 100 million (85 million euros) that the late Saudi King Abdullah allegedly deposited into a Swiss bank account in 2008 that Juan Carlos had access to.
Two other investigations are still open in Spain, one for the alleged existence of a trust fund on the island of Jersey linked to the king emeritus and another for the undeclared use of credit cards of accounts that were not in his name.
In addition, according to the press, his former lover Corinna Larsen, a German businesswoman who received money from Juan Carlos I, sued him in the United Kingdom for harassment and espionage.
The Spanish monarchs enjoy immunity during his reignBut the 2014 abdication left him exposed to criminal consequences.
Even if has not been formally charged with any crime, the investigations are still active, damaging the reputation of the person who led the transition to democracy after the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco.
Corinna Larsen in 2014. Photo DPA
In fact, his exile prevented him from attending to the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the failure of the 1981 coup.
During his exile, Juan Carlos has paid off his tax debts with the Spanish authorities on two occasions, for almost 680,000 euros in December and almost 4.4 million euros in February.
These gestures were perceived as an attempt to stop lawsuits, but the tax authorities have not yet said if they are enough.
Other than that, Juan Carlos has been kept totally apart from the public spotlights.
His daughters Elena and Cristina have visited him At his residence on the island of Nurai, off the coast of Abu Dhabi, but there is no record of his wife Sofia doing it.
“He’s lonely and quite bored”, Apezarena estimated.
He only spoke to the media once since he left, when, in relation to rumors about his health, he told OKDiario: “I’m healthy, I do two hours of gymnastics every day. “
Abel Hernández, another journalist expert on the monarchy, he believes that the emeritus king will return to Spain at the end of the year.
He is “the king who has brought democracy to Spain, (…) still no one has accused him of anything and apparently he has regularized his situation with the Treasury“.
“It does not seem very normal for me to continue outside of Spain”Hernández added.
Felipe VI keeps his distance from his father, and last year he renounced his inheritance and interrupted the palace payments to his father.
Two polls since the beginning of the year show that support for the monarchy has increased since Juan Carlos moved abroad and is already a majority.