27/02/2021

The emeritus' restoration fiasco

2 min
King Joan Carles I, with King Felip VI, in a recent image
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The monarchy, with the support of the PSOE and the opposition of the triple right, wanted to turn this week the fortieth anniversary of the coup d'état of 23-F into a way of vindicating the discredited figure of the king emeritus. According to the official story, the actions of Juan Carlos I put a stop to the tejerazo and saved the then young Spanish democracy. But the attempt has remained just that, an attempt. Not in vain, Felipe VI's father has long since fallen into disgrace on his own merits. He can no longer be saved by the sweetened epic of that distant episode. The emeritus has lost the popular support that for years surrounded him and made him an institutional pillar of the State; now the monarchy cannot find a way to overcome the crisis of legitimacy in which it is immersed. For years Juan Carlos I has been squandering the credit he had earned during the Transition, to the point that the accumulation of scandals led him to have to abdicate and finally go into exile in a shameful escape to Abu Dhabi, where he still resides and from where, thanks to the passivity of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor and the Tax Agency, he is manoeuvring to escape his tax crimes. If last December he paid the Treasury up to 678,393 euros to avoid a tax investigation into the opaque cards, this Thursday it has been learned that he has made a new payment of 4.3 million to avoid what would be a fraud in the Treasury of 120,000 euros. It is clear the favored treatment that he continues to receive. And that makes any restoration impossible, not even moral.

Tuesday's celebration in Parliament was far from being the raft of oil that some had designed. The vice-president of the Spanish government himself, Pablo Iglesias, wanted to make it clear that he was refusing to applaud. The podemitas thus continue to mark distances with the monarchy and with their socialist partners in government, who this week have once again closed ranks to avoid a commission of inquiry into the allegedly irregular business of Juan Carlos. The same groups that had asked for it - JxCat, ERC, the PDECat, the CUP, EH Bildu and the BNG - are also those who have requested an appearance of the Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, in addition to the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor and the director of the Tax Agency, to explain in what "conditions and terms" the "opaque" regularization of the emeritus king has been made.

Juan Carlos I is a burden for the monarchy. This is the reason for the almost impossible balancing act of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, who censures "the uncivic attitude" of the fugitive monarch but at the same time continues to provide him with a legal firewall, an impossible balancing act that seeks to safeguard the figure of Felipe VI.

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