WHO IS HIDING BEHIND THE CORONAVIRUS?

You would think the King of Spain would have made some reference in his  recent television address to the nation that four days earlier he had relinquished his heritage (no not the crown just the money) and cut off his father´s public salary. But no, not a word!
As a result of the King Felipe’s masked attempt to save the Spanish monarchy, his father, Juan Carlos, who abdicated in favour of his son in 2014, stands to lose 194,232 euros annually, paid to him from the General State Budget and King Felipe has attempted to renounced his right to the 100 million euros, sitting in a Swiss Bank account, proceeds allegedly paid to his father by the Ministry of Finance of Saudi Arabia in illegal commissions.
Apparently by cutting his father off from public funds and declining to take advantage of the millions stashed in a Swiss bank account to which he is the secondary beneficiary, that is the end of the story. No explanations just a call from the father of the nation, the caring King to his subjects, for solidarity and responsibility in the face of the coronavirus scandal.
At least some of his subjects were less than impressed by his omission, drowning out the royal words in a protest of banging saucepans (known rather charmingly as a “cacerolada,”) and some press pundits have raised a whiff of disapproval. But generally this extraordinary royal news has been lost amidst the widespread panic and fear over the coronavirus and the State of Alarm that has seen residents all over Spain obliged to self-isolate in their homes.
This latest scandal is, in truth, another in a long list of scandals which have plagued Ex-King Juan Carlos who has never been far from controversy in the chequered history of the Spanish monarchy.
When he was 18 he accidentally shot dead his younger brother while cleaning his gun.
At 31 he leapfrogged over his father to be anointed King of Spain by the dictator Franco and was subsequently estranged from his exiled father, the man who should have been king, for many years.
In 2014, when Spain was in the grips of a financial crisis, during which many homes were repossessed, unemployment hit an all-time high, and benefits and social services were cut back causing widespread hardship, King Juan Carlos was flown home from Africa in a private plane with a fractured hip after falling during a big game hunt. A picture posted on the Internet showed the King standing proudly beside a dead elephant he had shot. He himself came under heavy fire for killing an endangered animal for sport and flagrantly displaying a ”lack of ethics”  in the face of a financial crisis in the country of which he was Head of State.
In 2017 Iñaki Urdangarin, ex-handball player for FC Barcelona and husband of the daughter of ex-King Juan Carlos, Cristina, was found guilty of tax fraud and condemned to five years imprisonment. When the corruption scandal, Caso Noos, came to light the royal couple were relieved of their public duties although Cristina was subsequently cleared of all offences.
In the latest scandal to hit the besieged ex monarch there have been newspaper reports that he received illegal commissions when acting as an intermediary for contracts awarded to Spanish companies, including 50 million euros during the sale of the Zaragazono Bank to Barclays in 2003 and 100 million euros while mediating a deal for a juicy contract to build the AVE to Meca.
It is alleged that Juan Carlos is the sole beneficiary of a Swiss bank account (although Felipe is secondary beneficiary) which is currently being investigated, both in Switzerland and in Spain, because the funds in the account were, allegedly, illegal commissions paid to Juan Carlos by the Ministry of Finance of Saudi Arabia. His position is further complicated by revelations that 800,000 euros was withdrawn from the account by King Juan Carlos in 2009 for “personal necessities.”


Spain generally has always had a fairly benevolent attitude to ex-King Juan Carlos, largely due to the debt owed to the King by a nation grateful for his stand against an attempted military coup in 1981. During this unfortunate chapter in Spanish history, Tejero and various officers from the Guardia Civil carried out an armed assault, ostensibly “in the King´s name”, on the Congress of Deputies (several bullet holes from which remain visible in the ceiling of the chamber). At the same time General Milans de Bosch drove tanks onto the streets of Valencia confident the King would support the coup.
He didn´t. The “coup” lasted seven hours.
Historians differ over the King´s role in this debacle, some even suggesting he was in on the planning of the coup as a solution to the political crisis. However, indubitably, and for whatever reason, the King chose the right side in the end and democracy was preserved. In the process he won the undying gratitude of his subjects which seems to have granted him immunity despite a long list of scandals which would undoubtedly have brought down any other European monarchy.
The Spanish press have reported moves to open a Commission of Investigation in the Congress of Representatives (equivalent to our Houses of Parliament) into the allegations that Juan Carlos was paid commissions for negotiating overseas contracts for Spanish companies. However, the two main political parties, the PSOE (Socialists) and the PP (Conservative), for once in harmony, have refused to raise the veto which prevents such an investigation.
Under the Spanish Constitution the monarch has “inviolabilidad,” which translated into English means “sacred” or “blessed” rather than “inviolable.” In Spanish it clearly translates to immunity and impunity and, so far, the PSOE and the PP, agree that it may not cover Juan Carlos now but it covers “acts perpetrated during his reign.”
Partners in the governing coalition with the PSOE, Podemos, are still pushing for an investigation. Podemos are an unashamedly republican party and, unsurprisingly, they have the support of the Catalan, ERC (independents) and the Basque independent party, the PNV.
Moreover, it seems that King Felipe may be legally unable to renounce his inheritance.
Will this latest scandal of the Teflon ex-King of Spain bring down the Spanish monarchy? Probably not, as the current King of Spain know only too well. The Spanish people are too busy trying to deal with the worse health crisis to hit Europe since the Black Death to worry about anything else. Not even worth mentioning!!!

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