Spain's King Felipe Turns Down Father's Inheritance Amid Financial Scandal

17 Mars, 2020, 04:44 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Royals Juan and Felipe

Juan Carlos handed over power to his son, Felipe in 2014.

Spain's King Felipe VI has renounced the inheritance he was due to receive from his father, Juan Carlos I, in a move to distance himself from the scandal-hit former monarch.

Juan Carlos was informed about his son's decision on renouncing the inheritance along with "any asset, investment or financial structure whose origin, characteristic or objective may not be in accordance with the law or with the rectitude and integrity" of the crown.

Felipe denied any knowledge of the fund in a statement released yesterday.

Political parties in Spain welcomed King Felipe's statement renouncing his inheritance and expressed their support to the monarch.

The investigation was launched after Spanish media outlets published a leaked audio recording in which Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, a onetime lover of Juan Carlos, claimed the king had been involved in various financial dealings, including an attempt to charge commissions from Spanish companies from a consortium that won a €6.74 billion contract in 2011 to build a high-speed rail project in Saudi Arabia. The Zagatka Foundation has been investigated by Swiss prosecutors, and it was knowledge of this that led to calls in Spain's Congress for there to be an investigation into the former king's business affairs.

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Spain's hard-left Podemos party had called for it after reports earlier this month that in 2008 Juan Carlos received $100 million from Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah via the Swiss account of an entity listed in Panama. Such an investigation, as far as Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez's PSOE party is concerned, would be unconstitutional, an assessment which has not pleased Unidas Podemos, PSOE's partners in the government.

Spain's Constitution describes the king as "inviolable", and this has generally been interpreted to mean that Juan Carlos could not be prosecuted for actions committed while he was on the throne, but this is no impediment to a foreign court.

Juan Carlos, 82, became king in November 1975 and reigned until his abdication in June 2014.

He resigned from public life past year after a series of scandals about his private life.

In 2018, King Felipe's brother-in-law Inaki, the husband of Princess Cristina, was jailed for more than five years for siphoning off millions of euros from a foundation he ran in the island of Majorca.

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