Dozens of cameras are looking for one image at a small airport in Galicia tonight: the return of Juan Carlos I to Spain. The 84-year-old former king left his country two years ago in a veritable storm of corruption scandals surrounding his person.
Juan Carlos is in Spain until next Monday. He is the first to visit a personal friend with whom he also visits the sailing races in Sanxenxo in Galicia. The ex-king participates in the races with his own sailing yacht, although it is still unclear whether Juan Carlos also sails on the ship.
Upon arrival, the former king gave a thumbs to his fans:
After the weekend, Juan Carlos travels to Madrid to meet his son, the current Spanish king Felipe VI. On that occasion, there is also a reunion between Juan Carlos and the woman with whom he unofficially lives on separate terms, Queen Sofia. Juan Carlos emphatically does not stay overnight in the Zarzuela Royal Palace.
“That same day, His Majesty flies back to the United Arab Emirates,” says a hypothermic press release from the Spanish royal family. “Where he established his permanent residence.” The statement also states how from now on Juan Carlos will return to Spain “regularly” to visit family and friends.
No legal investigations
The former king left Spain with a tail between the legs in August 2020 after more revelations emerged about corruption scandals he was alleged to be involved in. The former monarch has since lived in a villa on the island of Zaya Nurai off the coast of Abu Dhabi.
In Spain, legal investigations are no longer under way against Juan Carlos at the moment. Admittedly, the Public Prosecutor‘s Office discovered numerous irregularities, such as the concealment, shutting down or laundering of money flows. But all these offences date back to the period 1975-2014, in which Juan Carlos was inviolable as king. Illegal transactions would have continued even after 2014, although the former king finally settled this case with the tax authorities after a payment of about five million euros.
In any case, both the Spanish government and the Spanish royal family are in the stomach with Juan Carlos’s visit. Prime Minister Sánchez previously expressed his outrage at the behavior of the ex-monarch. “I keep thinking that King Juan Carlos should give an explanation. He owes that to the Spanish.” It bothers other political parties that the former king never openly apologized for his role in corruption cases.
Incidentally, there are still proceedings abroad against the former monarch, brought, among other things, by his former girlfriend Corinna Larsen to whom Juan Carlos would have donated 65 million euros. That money may have come from a ‘gift’ from Saudi Arabia‘s royal family, following Juan Carlos’s mediation in the construction of the high-speed rail to Mecca by Spanish entrepreneurs.
According to Larsen, her life was made impossible after she broke off the relationship with the former monarch, and Juan Carlos claimed the money back.