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.
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