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  HOME | Society (Click here for more)

Week of Speculation about Whereabouts of Spain’s Ex-King Juan Carlos I



PALMA, Spain – Speculation about the whereabouts of Spain’s former king Juan Carlos I continued on Monday, a week after he announced his departure from his native country.

Fernando Grande-Marlaska, the country’s interior minister, told press during a visit to Algeria that his safety “concerns the Spanish state.”

The former monarch informed his son, the current King of Spain Felipe VI, on Aug. 3 that he was leaving Spain “in the face of the public repercussions that certain past events in my private life are generating.”

He had recently been named in two probes, one in Switzerland and one in Spain, scrutinizing a high-speed rail deal with Saudi Arabia amid suspicions he received an alleged gift of $100 million from Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah as a kick-back.

His lawyer Javier Sanchez Junco said the ex-king remained at the disposal of the public prosecutor for any procedure or action deemed necessary.

Felipe held a round of hearings with regional authorities on the Balearic Islands on Monday in the city of Palma on the island of Mallorca.

Nothing was said during the meetings regarding his father’s departure, where he is or where he will settle.

Speculation in the media has been rife with Portugal, Dominican Republic, Arab Emirates and New Zealand all named as possible places where the ex-king could be.

There has been no comment from the Spanish royal household as to the former monarch’s location.

Spain’s government has also refused to discuss his whereabouts.

Felipe will receive prime minister Pedro Sanchez on Wednesday in Palma and the situation is likely to be one of the issues they will discuss.

His departure from Spain has also triggered new tensions in Spain’s coalition government.

It has led to criticism of the monarchy by left-wing parties and Catalan pro-independents and calls for a referendum on the issue.

Around 55 percent of Spaniards support the monarchy, compared to 38 percent who would prefer the country to become a republic, according to a survey published in the country’s La Razon newspaper on Monday.

Just over 71 percent said they were in favor of the emeritus king taking up residence abroad.

Another survey in Spanish newspaper El Mundo found around 80 percent of Spanish citizens believe Juan Carlos should be brought to justice for possible financial offenses.

 

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