Spain’s king unveils personal assets of €2.6 million

Spain’s royal palace on Monday unveiled King Felipe VI’s personal wealth for the first time, saying it amounted to €2.6 million ($2.8 million).

Spain's king unveils personal assets of €2.6 million
(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 22, 2021 Spain's King Felipe VI delivers a speech during the 2021 Princess of Asturias award ceremony at the Reconquista Hotel in Oviedo. - Spain's royal palace on April 25, 2022 unveiled King Felipe VI's personal wealth for the first time, saying it amounted to €2.6 million ($2.8 million). (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA / AFP)

The announcement came as Spain’s leftist government said it would on Tuesday pass a decree to “strengthen the transparency, accountability, efficiency” of the scandal-hit royal household “in line with the principles that have presided” during Felipe’s reign.

Felipe ascended the throne in 2014 with the goal of restoring the monarchy’s prestige after his father Juan Carlos abdicated against a backdrop of scandals over his finances and love life.

The new king promptly ordered an audit of the royal household’s accounts and issued a “code of conduct” for its members.

Then in 2020 Felipe renounced any future personal inheritance he might receive from his father, and stripped him of his annual allowance after fresh details of his allegedly shady dealings emerged.

The bulk of the king’s personal wealth, around 2.3 million, are deposits in checking or savings accounts, with the rest made up of art, antiques and jewellery, the royal palace statement said.

The heritage comes from the remuneration he received over the last 25 years, first as Prince of Asturias and since 2014 as king, it added.

Since he ascended the throne, Felipe “launched the path of modernisation of the Crown to make it worthy of the respect and trust of its citizens”.

“His Majesty the King, guided by this spirit of service and civic commitment added today to his constitutional responsibilities his personal decision to make public his assets,” the statement said.

A key figure in Spain’s transition to democracy following the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975, Juan Carlos was the target of three separate probes over his financial dealings.

One of them involved possible illegal commissions linked to a high-speed rail project in Saudi Arabia that was awarded to a Spanish consortium in 2011.

The inquiries prompted the 84-year-old to flee the country into self-imposed exile in 2020.

Spanish prosecutors shelved all the investigations in March but Juan Carlos announced shortly after that he would continue to live in the United Arab Emirates, and visit Spain frequently.

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Spain’s king slammed over plans to attend Qatar World Cup

The junior partner in Spain's leftist coalition government on Monday criticised King Felipe VI's plans to visit Qatar later this week to attend the Spanish team's opening World Cup match.

Spain's king slammed over plans to attend Qatar World Cup

Host of global football’s premier event, wealthy Qatar has come under heavy criticism over its treatment of foreign workers and its rights restrictions on women and the LGBTQ community.

The presence of top government representatives at the tournament which kicked off on Sunday has been the subject of fierce debate in several European nations.

Gerardo Pisarello, a lawmaker with the hard-left Podemos party, told a news conference that it was “unfortunate” to hear the Royal Palace announce the king would travel to Qatar without “making any critical objections about what is happening there”.

“We have certainly never had a football World Cup raising so many questions about human rights abuses since the 1978 World Cup in Argentina,” which was organized under a military dictatorship, he added.

Podemos is the junior partner in Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s coalition cabinet, which has governed Spain since January 2020.

It has long been critical of the monarchy, which it would like to see abolished.

Spain’s Royal Palace announced last week that the king would attend Spain’s opening match against Costa Rica on Wednesday.

Denmark has been one of the most vocal opponents of Qatar’s hosting of the tournament due to its human rights record.

Over the weekend, the Danish government announced that no ministers nor the Danish ambassador would attend the opening ceremony or any matches.