Monday, September 25

The emeritus king weighs going to Portugal in September after another summer away from Spain

Don Juan Carlos does not plan to move from Abu Dhabi for now after the discomfort that his last visit to Sanxenxo caused in Zarzuela and Moncloa

Maria Eugenia Alonso

When Juan Carlos I left Spain in August 2020, he did so with the shadow of justice hanging over his head and with the intention of not hindering his son’s work. Two years later, the king emeritus has made Abu Dhabi, sheltered by the Al Nahayan family, his residence “permanently and stable” after the Supreme Court Prosecutor’s Office filed last March the investigations into his opaque businesses in the Foreign. Since then he has made only one fleeting visit to Spain, to Sanxenxo, which became quite a media spectacle that disturbed the Zarzuela and greatly inconvenienced the Moncloa.

Several members of the Government demanded “explanations” for having committed tax fraud. “Each minute that passes without giving explanations widens mistrust in the institutions,” lamented the second vice president, Yolanda Díaz. “Explanations of what?” Don Juan Carlos replied with a laugh when the journalists asked him the question. Far from showing regret, he seemed delighted to enjoy a weekend with friends and regattas in the municipality of Pontevedra.

The trip closed in Madrid, where he had lunch with part of the family and met alone with his son. “A long conversation time”, in terms of the Royal House, in which Don Felipe explained to his father the damage caused to the Crown by his actions in recent years. In that meeting, which lasted for more than four hours, they again referred to the statement sent by the former head of state in March, in which he conveyed his decision to remain a resident in Abu Dhabi and to organize “his personal life and his place of residence in areas of a private nature.

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Felipe VI asked the emeritus for more discretion from then on and reminded him that the only way to dignify his legacy and protect his figure was for him to attend to his wishes and keep a low profile. With the booklet read, Don Juan Carlos said goodbye 17 months later again to his country counting the days to be able to return. And so it goes.

There is no date, at the moment, for his second visit. The one planned for June was cut short. Monarca’s initial intention was then to return to Galicia to participate in the 6 Meter Class Sailing World Championship and defend the title of world champion achieved in 2019 with his boat ‘Bribón’. But he finally canceled his plan after his son’s scolding and the discomfort it caused in the government because of how his first visit unfolded.

Doesn’t look like he’s coming back this summer. Despite the high temperatures in Abu Dhabi – where they are close to 53 degrees – Don Juan Carlos prefers not to stir the waters and will not move from his golden cage on the outskirts of the city, where he will predictably receive visits from his daughters and some of his grandchildren. A luxury residence that has been placed at his service by the crown prince, Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan, who has provided him with all the comforts since he settled in the Persian Gulf country.

European Championship

His next reappearance could take place as early as September, although the destination would be Portugal. Specifically Cascais, where another stage of the European championship is being held in which the ‘Bribón’ will compete and where, in addition, the regatta is scheduled to take place – from the 5th to the 12th – which bears the name of King Juan Carlos, in recognition of the ties that unite it with the neighboring country.

Two years after his forced march and after the filing of the Prosecutor’s Office investigation, the emeritus has given no clues as to when and how he will normalize his situation in Spain once he was exonerated from any criminal responsibility for the fiscal irregularities committed in recent years. years of his reign and after his abdication in June 2014. He has always made clear his desire to return to Spain, which he carries “always in his heart”, as he said in his March letter.

But his return today still looks distant. The President of the Government avoided this Tuesday, after dispatching with the King, opening the door to the possible “definitive” return of Juan Carlos I. “It is not for the Government to answer this question,” settled Pedro Sánchez, aware of the internal commotion that it would entail in his government and among his parliamentary allies the return home of the head of state for almost four decades.

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