News from Spain: King Juan Carlos handed lifeline as Spain drops fraud probe | royal | News

The former monarch was facing allegations of fraud in his business dealings. In August 2020, he left Spain following corruption allegations, the country’s royal family confirmed at the time. Now Spain’s national prosecutor has dropped two investigations into allegations of fraud after failing to find sufficient evidence of criminal activity.

The former monarch abdicated from the throne in June 2014 after four decades on the throne.

Spanish monarchs enjoy immunity during their reign.

In 2020, the Spanish Supreme Court opened an investigation into the former head of state’s involvement in a high-speed rail contract in Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Carlos has repeatedly declined to comment on the allegations.

The controversy has also cast doubt on the future of the monarchy itself under his son, King Felipe.

In an early attempt to quell the anger, King Felipe renounced any personal inheritance from his father when the corruption allegations first surfaced.

King Felipe also ended Juan Carlos’s annual palace allowance in March last year.

The former monarch retired from public life in 2019, five years after abdicating, to allow his son to take over the reins.

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In his letter, the former king said at the time: “It was a solemn act, full of emotion for me, which evoked, with pride and admiration, the memory of the many people who made the political transition. [to democracy] possible and renewed my feeling of permanent gratitude towards the Spanish people, true architect and main protagonist of this transcendent stage of our recent history.

Previously, the monarch had spoken to the head of the royal house Rafael Spottorono about his intention to abdicate.

El Mundo reported it as saying, “I don’t want my son to wilt while waiting like Prince Charles.”

Juan Carlos ascended the throne in 1975 after the death of General Francisco Franco and was widely respected for his role in helping guide Spain from dictatorship to democracy.

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Fury against the monarchy has swept Spain in 2020.

Hundreds of furious anti-monarchy protesters took to the streets of Madrid, the Spanish capital, to demand an end to the monarchy.

Even Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has plunged into the scandal, saying it’s a problem “all Spaniards are witnessing”.

Last month concerns were raised about the health of the former monarch, who has lived in the United Arab Emirates since last summer, after reports suggested he was in critical condition.

Spanish journalist Pilar Eyre said: “King Juan Carlos is in serious condition and the Royal House is assessing the possibility of his transfer to Spain.”

However, these claims have been rebuked by both Spanish palace insiders and the former monarch himself.

Speaking to local media outlet La Sexta, sources from Casa Real – which represents the Spanish royal family – said the reports about the health of King Juan Carlos I “are baseless”.

And a spokesperson for the former king said Juan Carlos was in good health and doing “two hours of gym a day”, according to Hola! magazine.

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