Monarchy
Politics 26/04/2022

King's personal assets worth €2.5m according to royal palace

Money comes from remuneration received over the last 25 years and includes shares, works of art and jewellery

3 min
Felipe VI with members of the Constitutional Court

MADRIDKing Felipe VI has made his personal wealth public for the first time: €2.5m. The royal palace made a statement explaining that Felipe VI has taken this decision guided by a "spirit of service and civic commitment". The objective, then, is to "fulfil his commitment to renew the monarchy" and "make it worthy of the respect and trust of citizens under the principles of exemplarity, transparency, rectitude and integrity of its behaviour". However, the context, with the multiple scandals that have splashed the monarchy with Juan Carlos I as the protagonist, escapes no one's attention.

Specifically, Felipe VI has declared that he has €2,573,392. Of these, €2.2m are in bank accounts, stocks and shares in funds, while he has over €300,000 in art objects, antiques and personal jewellery, which have been the subject a valuation, as reported by the royal house.

This wealth comes mainly from the remunerations received in the last 25 years, that is, since 1998. First as Prince of Asturias and since 2014 as monarch. During this period, Felipe VI has received more than €4.2m. From this amount, income tax and wealth tax must be deducted. Despite Felipe VI's decision, Queen Letizia's assets have not been made public.

What the king does not have, according to the statement, are buildings, vehicles or palaces in property. It must be taken into account that Felipe VI enjoys an amount of publicly owned real estate –which can only be used by the royal household– and an allocation from the annual general state budget of about €8m –it is the only item that until now was publicly known and which in recent years has increased–. In addition, several ministries devote resources –human and economic– to the institution which are not accounted for either, meaning the real cost to the State is much higher than those €8m.

Spanish government action

Just after the statement was made public, the Spanish government announced that this Tuesday the council of ministers would approve a royal decree through which "the structure and functioning of the royal household would be reformed". "This royal decree will reinforce transparency, accountability, efficiency and exemplarity of the royal household, in line with the principles that have presided since the beginning of Felipe VI's reign", explained from the Moncloa. In order to distance himself from his father's corrupt practices, Felipe VI has already eliminated the budget allocation for Juan Carlos and renounced to his inheritance.

Following the flight of Juan Carlos I in August 2020, the Spanish government and in particular the PSOE have been pushed to open the door to reforms that would "modernise" the Crown and adapt it to the Spain of the 21st century, in the words of the Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez . So far, however, high levels of privilege and opacity continue to reign around the monarchy.

The list of promises is long. One of them is to modify the king's inviolability. This measure, however, has been kicked into the long grass by PSOE despite pressure from its coalition partner, Unidas Podemos. The other pending issue is precisely transparency. The monarchy is not subject to the transparency law nor to the Court of Auditors law, which allows the auditing of the civil service. A third promise is parliamentary control of the royal household and, in particular, of the king emeritus. The Socialists – with support from the PP and VOX – have no intention of debating or investigating the activities of Juan Carlos in parliament, not even activities after his abdication, which would no longer be protected by inviolability. However, it remains to be seen what the scope of this Tuesday's announcement by the Spanish government will be.

Reactions from the Socialists' coalition partners Unidas Podemos did not take long. Spokesman Pablo Echenique has described the publication of Felipe VI's personal assets as "make-up" and has criticised that while he enjoys "inviolability, transparency measures will not be effective".

stats