Will King Juan Carlos I return to live in Spain if the Popular Party (PP) wins the elections this Sunday? That is the question in political gossipin the press and in the hubbub of the streets of Spain.
(Read also: Defense of King Juan Carlos I says that the lawsuit for harassment of his ex-lover collapses)
For now, the king emeritus, exiled in Abu Dhabi since 2020, will visit Galicia between July 26 and August 1 to participate in a regatta with his boat, Bribón, as training for a competition that will take place on the Isle of Wight, in England, at the end of next month.
He will stay at the house of his friend Pedro Campos, as he has done on the two previous occasions since he left the country voluntarily, but forced by circumstances with open judicial investigations.
According to the newspaper El País, the king He has commented to his closest circle his desire to settle again in Spain if the PP comes to power this Sunday, with Alberto Núñez Feijóo at the head, in the general elections. They have even pointed out that it would happen this fall and that he would reside in one of the buildings of the Zarzuela palace, the royal house par excellence.
nunez Feijóo, in turn, has expressed the freedom that Juan Carlos I has to return home. According to the Confidencial Digital outlet, he is willing to organize his return the day after “becoming president of the government; logically, always in coordination and keeping the times set by the Zarzuela”.
Consider that it is not «reasonable» that «a citizen who has no pending cause, and who has also been King of Spain for several decades, cannot return to his country.»
The emeritus king left through the back door, in an agreed manner with his son, to whom he left a public farewell letter on August 3, 2022, pushed by the scandal that produced the discovery of a series of opaque money movements, in which, in addition, his ex-lover, Corinna Larsen, was involved.
The Supreme Court Prosecutor’s Office opened three investigations between 2020 and 2021 to track possible irregularities by Juan Carlos I. He discovered, in effect, shortcomings in his duties as a taxpayer, but filed them away; in some cases, because he committed them when he was king and was protected by immunity and, in others, because he had corrected them through subsequent tax adjustments.
One of them is related to the delivery of 65 million euros to Larsen, who was his secret lover for several years, until the romance was discovered when they were on an elephant hunt in Botswana in 2012, when the then king suffered an accident and broke his hip.
(Also read: Juan Carlos I wanted to record his lover with a hidden microphone to sing it)
This week, precisely Larsen filed a lawsuit in England against Juan Carlos I for alleged harassment and claims 126 million pounds (almost 150 million euros) for damages.
He assures that, after breaking up the relationship, he was a victim because he pressured her to return to him and, later, as revenge for not having done so. The lawyers for the emeritus have already asked the British justice system to dismiss the appeal, among other reasons because the place to settle it, as they allege, should not be the courts of the United Kingdom, since the emeritus does not hold that nationality nor did the alleged «harmful event» occur there.
The balance on the other side
Sources «of the highest confidence from the previous leave of State», quoted by the EFE agency, deny that he has plans to return to settle in Spain and assure that he will only visit at the end of this July to participate in the regattas of Xanxenxo, Galicia. They deny the information published by El País “absolutely” and “in all its extremes”.
I have always been very respectful, in very difficult circumstances, by the way, with the Head of State and, therefore, it is up to them to clarify this issue, not to me
For his part, Pedro Sánchez —current president of the government and candidate in the elections this Sunday for the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE)— has been quite cautious and even elusive on the matter.
When asked in a radio interview about the possible definitive return of Juan Carlos I to Spain, he limited himself to referring to the Royal House and stressing the good relations he maintains with King Felipe VI.
«I have always been very respectful, in very difficult circumstances, by the way, with the Head of State and, therefore, it is up to them to clarify this issue, not to me,» he said.
This will be the third visit of Juan Carlos I to Spain since his exile. The first took place, amid enormous expectations, in May 2022. The second was in April of this year, when it was approved to go for a two-day medical check-up in Vitoria.
On both occasions, as it will be on the next, he stayed at his friend Campos’ house.
This time he will arrive on a jet belonging to the Emirati royal family and no intermediate stops are planned.
He will try to keep a low profile, despite the fact that it will be the peak tourist season in Xanxenxo, a municipality that can host some 150,000 visitors in summer, while in winter it does not exceed 17,000 inhabitants.
Speculations about the possible permanent return of the emeritus have multiplied after the death of Queen Elizabeth of England, in September 2022. The health of 85-year-old Juan Carlos I is not good and he is capable of everyone who would like him to be treated in Spain if he became seriously ill.
Although not everyone expresses it, many think, furthermore, that as the monarchy expert Jaime Peñafiel told this newspaper, «if King Juan Carlos died in exile, Felipe would cry tears of blood throughout his fucking life.»
JUANITA SAMPER OSPINA
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