A few days ago I read about how the once magnificent Barça player Ronaldiño has ended up prison; Just one more that can be added to the already long list of illustrious athletes who had absolutely everything but ended up in nothing, now being dragged through the courts.
Juan Carlos, the former King, is unlikely follow the same path, since his dubious fortune and illicit tax status is hidden in a tax haven, while he simply ignores any personal responsibility
However, his credit and respect, earned during almost 40 years of loyal service to Spain, have been diluted with great speed, with one blunder after another, to the point of the King Emeritus suffering public disgrace, which has now been openly sanctioned by his own son.
He resigned from public life in June 2019 as a string of scandals took its toll. The crown may be gold, but the feet would seem to be made of clay.
In order to retain his own popularity, King Felipe VI, much to his personal regret, seems to be gradually getting rid of the Royal Family, first his sister and now his father. If he is to keep the crown on his head he needs to be seen as being decisive.
The King has now renounced his personal inheritance from his father, he is also stripping his father of his stipend, in an apparent bid to sever any financial linkage between the Spanish royal household and the former monarch.
But the announcement only came as King Felipe risked getting entangled in his father’s financial scandals himself.
It is okay to raise the alarm in your own house and take severe measures, but, like the Government and the coronavirus, in the Royal Household it’s all happened just a little bit too late.
It is alleged that King Felipe became aware of Juan Carlos’s shady financial management some time ago, then going before a notary to renounce his inheritance. However the press are saying that he should have made it public at that time, without waiting for an English newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, to make the matter public. The same is true of the abrupt removal of his father’s stipend.
These measures are not perceived as the brave acts of an assertive king, but as a ballast that is being thrown overboard to keep the monarchy afloat, a monarchy that once sailed happily aboard yachts with their ominous names, “Rascal” and “Fortuna”.
Many Spaniards are once again calling for the monarchy to be abandoned, favouring the establishment of a republic in it’s stead.
Carlos Sanchez Mato of the United Left party, which forms part of the Unidas Podemos group that currently rules Spain in coalition with the PSOE, tweeted that Felipe hadn’t gone far enough in distancing himself from Juan Carlos.
“Felipe VI hasn’t renounced his entire inheritance,” he said, adding that Juan Carlos had left Felipe the title of head of state as well as “millions of euros in shady funds around the world.”