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Spain's new king still Europe's cheapest

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Spain's new king still Europe's cheapest
Following his father’s surprise abdication in June, Felipe VI has attempted to clean up and modernize the tarnished image of Spain's royal family. Photo: Jaime Reina/AFP
16:21 CEST+02:00
The Spanish government announced on Tuesday that the budget for the country's Royal Family will be frozen at €7.78 million ($9.8 million) in 2015, making Spain's new King Felipe Europe's cheapest monarch.

Spain’s ruling Popular Party will allocate the exact same budget to Felipe VI as it did for his father and predecessor King Juan Carlos.

Last year, the PP used the sum to defend the existence of Spain’s royal family, arguing that it cost each Spaniard only 17 Euro cents ($0.23) a year.

That in turn made and continues to make Spain’s royal family the cheapest in Europe, with 2012 estimates suggesting the Dutch royals lead the way with an annual €40 million cost for their taxpayers. 

SEE ALSO: '€485,000 royal birthday fete lays bare need for Norwegian republic'

Since the beginning of the economic crisis in Spain in 2008, the royal budget has progressively dropped from €8.66 million to the current €7.78 million, with 2015 marking the first time in five years the royals haven't taken a pay cut.

That hasn't stopped the Spanish monarchy’s popularity from waning following King Juan Carlos’s controversial elephant hunting trip in Botswana and the ongoing fraud case in which Princess Cristina and her husband Iñaki Urdangarin are involved.  

Following his father’s surprise abdication in June, Felipe VI has attempted to clean up this tarnished image by allowing the royal account books to be audited by an external government agency.

The 46-year-old king is attempting to modernize the monarchy in every way possible, from receiving representatives from Spain's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups for the very first time in Spain’s royal history to going to heading out for gin and tonics with friends in downtown Madrid without the queen.

The announcement of the royal budget for 2015 came as Spain published its budget for 2015 on Tuesday, a document which also sees Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy freezing his own annual wages at €78,185 and those of his ministers at €68,981 a year.

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