King Felipe VI of Spain on Sunday moved to distance himself from his scandal-hit father, stripping him of his palace allowance and renouncing what he was due to inherit from him.
The announcement came after reports earlier this month in the Swiss daily Tribune de Geneve that former monarch Juan Carlos had received US$100 million from Saudi Arabia via an offshore account.
The money was lodged in a Swiss bank account in the name of a Panamanian foundation, the paper reported, of which US$65 million was given by Juan Carlos to his former mistress, Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein.
A later report in Britain’s Daily Telegraph said that 52-year-old King Felipe was also a beneficiary of the fund, which it said had been set up when Juan Carlos was still on the throne.
In the palace statement released on Sunday, the reigning king said that in April last year he had made it clear to a notary that he would accept no money from the foundation in question.
He also said he had absolutely no knowledge of having been named as a beneficiary to another foundation, which according to press reports paid millions of dollars toward his father’s flights in private jets.
The statement said King Felipe was renouncing any assets, shares or investments that might be either illegal or compromise the royal family’s integrity.
Spanish media reports said Juan Carlos has until now received an annual allowance from the state of more than 194,000 euros (US$217,229).
The reaction from leftwing parties on Sunday evening suggested that for them, at least, it was not enough.
On Twitter, economist Carlos Sanchez Mato of the United Left party called on the king to renounce everything he stood to inherit from his father — including his role as head of state.
On Tuesday, the Spanish parliament decided against launching an investigation into suspected money laundering by the former king.
Juan Carlos, now 82, came to the throne after the death of the military dictator Francisco Franco in 1975 and is widely respected for having favored a transition to democracy. However, he lost his immunity from prosecution after handing power to his son, Felipe, in June 2014 following a 39-year reign.
He resigned from public life last year after a series of scandals about his private life. In 2012, he outraged Spaniards by going elephant hunting in Botswana at the height of the country’s recession.
However, he is not the only Spanish royal to have been caught up in a scandal.
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 US dollars from a foundation he ran in Majorca.
INTERNET CURBS: People are rushing to erase their digital footprints after police given powers over online activity, although it might take years for the full effect to be felt At midnight on Tuesday, the Great Firewall of China, the vast apparatus that limits the country’s Internet, appeared to descend on Hong Kong. Unveiling expanded police powers as part of contentious new national security legislation, the Hong Kong government enabled police to censor online speech, and force Internet service providers to hand over user information and shut down platforms. Many residents, already anxious since the legislation took effect last week, rushed to erase their digital footprint of any signs of dissent or support for the past year of protests. Hong Kong Legislator Charles Mok (莫乃光), a pro-democracy member of the Legislative
‘SUICIDE’: Media reports said Park Won-soon went missing on Thursday after a staff member filed a sexual harassment claim against him this week Seoul mayor Park Won-soon, viewed as a potential candidate for the 2022 presidential election, was found dead of an apparent suicide hours after he was reported missing, police said, adding that he was the subject of an undisclosed investigation. In a note he is thought to have left behind on his desk, Park offered his apologies. “I thank everyone who was with me in my life. I apologize to my family for only making them suffer from pain,” according to the note that was released by his office yesterday. Park, in his letter, asked to be cremated and have his remains spread
RISKY BUSINESS: The Chinese firm has stockpiled 500,000 pieces of 5G equipment not covered by US sanctions, but fears a wider ban could be announced in the UK Huawei Technologies Co believes it can supply 5G hardware unaffected by US sanctions to the UK for the next five years, sidestepping the expected conclusion of British emergency review on Tuesday. The company has stockpiled 500,000 pieces of kit, but fears a wider ban on its equipment is to be unveiled to placate rebel British Conservative Party lawmakers, who say that the Chinese supplier represents a national security risk. The British government on Friday said that it was “very likely” that British Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden would make a statement to parliament on Tuesday
“Leaving a place that I love was very difficult. We’re all Hong Kong people who come out to protest because we love Hong Kong. But now we are forced to leave.” *Jay* is a former Hong Kong resident who attended many of last year’s protests, including on the front lines. He was arrested and charged with riot offenses, but fled the territory when he was being released on bail several months ago. He is now among dozens of Hong Kong residents seeking political asylum in Australia, and he has no expectation of returning home. “When I was taking the bus to the