Spain’s king unveils assets amid push for more transparency

Apr 25, 2022, 4:29 PM | Updated: Apr 26, 2022, 9:02 am
FILE - From left to right: Spain's former King Juan Carlos, Spain's former Queen Sofia, Spain's Que...

FILE - From left to right: Spain's former King Juan Carlos, Spain's former Queen Sofia, Spain's Queen Letizia, and Spain's King Felipe VI at the Royal Palace in Madrid, Wednesday Jan. 23, 2013. The Spanish government is set to pass a decree Tuesday aimed at boosting transparency in a monarchy still reeling from scandals involving King Felipe VI's father, Juan Carlos. The move comes a day after Felipe made public his personal assets of €2.6 million euros ($2.8 million) for the first time ever. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Rojas, File)

(AP Photo/Juan Carlos Rojas, File)

MADRID (AP) — The Spanish government passed a decree Tuesday aimed at boosting transparency in a monarchy still reeling from scandals involving King Felipe VI’s father, former King Juan Carlos I.

The government described the decree, approved at its weekly Cabinet meeting, as a step toward modernizing Spain’s royal house. The move comes a day after Felipe made public his personal assets of 2.6 million euros ($2.8 million) for the first time.

The decree will subject the accounts of the royal household to the scrutiny of Spain’s national Court of Auditors and require members of the royal family to declare any gifts they receive.

Félix Bolaños, who serves as Spain’s minister of the presidency and relations with parliament, said the decree was “an advance in transparency, accountability, exemplarity and efficiency that is aligned to the highest standards with other European royal houses.”

In recent years, allegations of financial wrongdoing involving Juan Carlos tarnished the reputation of Spain’s royal family. The most recent involved investigations into millions of dollars in foreign accounts and prompted the former king to leave Spain for the United Arab Emirates in 2020.

The palace said Monday that the unprecedented disclosure of Felipe’s estate was part of a wider push to make the monarchy “worthy of the respect and trust of its citizens.”

The palace said the king’s wealth was made up of around 2.3 million euros in savings, current accounts and securities. The rest is in art, antiques and jewelry.

The king does not have any real estate or any financial dealings abroad, a palace official said.

Felipe’s wealth stems from his earnings as king and those he received as heir-in-waiting to Juan Carlos, who abdicated in 2014. The palace said Felipe paid taxes on all of his earnings.

In 2020, Felipe renounced his personal inheritance from his father following the allegations of financial wrongdoings. Spanish and Swiss prosecutors have since shelved their investigations of Juan Carlos’ finances.

Juan Carlos, who helped steer Spain back to democracy following the death of dictator Gen. Francisco Franco in 1975, was once Spain’s most respected public figures. Scandals of one type or another involving the family began to mount in the later years of his reign.

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Spain’s king unveils assets amid push for more transparency