The father of the current King Felipe VI returns for a few days to the royal palace of Zarzuela in Spain at the end of June. After that, former King Juan Carlos I leaves Spain, heading for his newly built home in the Arab Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Zarzuela Royal Palace in Madrid has been the official residence of Juan Carlos I for nearly sixty years. The former king returns to Spain for a short time, putting an end to the assumption he is in self-exile. The king emeritus can return to Spain because he has repaid the two debts to the Spanish tax authorities.
Debts to the tax authorities
The first debt was €678,393.72 for illegal credit card transactions of the former king. That debt has now been paid to the Spanish tax authorities. The second, considerably larger debt from January this year, concerns an amount of €4,395,901.96 that was repaid with the financial help of friends. The former king was to blame for not reporting private flights to the tax authorities. The flights took place between mid-2014 and 2018, a period when Juan Carlos I had already lost his immunity.
In November last year, El Confidencial newspaper reported the former king was using a cousin’s money to pay for more than ten private flights to America, the Caribbean and the Middle East. Earlier this month, the Spanish tax authorities asked the former king for additional information in a new investigation. However, according to Juan Carlos, no new information will emerge. He said he acted correctly both before and after his abdication in 2014 and he “does not regret anything”.
House in Abu Dhabi not paid for by Spain
Last May 12, Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo denied Juan Carlos I was on the run or in hiding. “He will return to Spain as soon as he wants or can,” said Calvo. She added the ex-king’s stay will cost the Spanish treasury no more than if he were residing in Spain. According to her, his house in Abu Dhabi is not paid for by the Spanish state. Only the salary of three personal assistants is paid by the Spanish government. This would be the case if he was resident in Spain.
The temporary return of the former king takes place almost a year after his notorious departure from Spain on August 3, 2020. This was when it turned out Juan Carlos had not reported a donation of €65million to the tax authorities in 2008. The former king set up a fund in Panama to house and secure this money.
Following his visit, former King Juan Carlos I leaves Spain for Abu Dhabi.