The King of Spain unveils assets amid pressure for more transparency

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MADRID – The Spanish government on Tuesday adopted a decree aimed at increasing transparency in a monarchy still plagued by scandals involving the father of King Felipe VI, former King Juan Carlos I.

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

The decree will subject the Royal Household’s accounts to the scrutiny of Spain’s National Audit Office and require members of the royal family to declare any gifts they receive.

Félix Bolaños, who serves as Spain’s minister for the presidency and relations with parliament, said the decree was “a step forward in transparency, accountability, exemplarity and efficiency, aligned to the highest standards with other European royal houses.”

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

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

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

The king has no real estate or any economic business abroad, an official in the palace said.

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

In 2020, Felipe relinquished his personal inheritance from his father following allegations of financial misconduct. Spanish and Swiss prosecutors have since dropped their investigations into Juan Carlos’ finances.

Juan Carlos, who helped steer Spain back to democracy after the death of dictator General Francisco Franco in 1975, was once Spain’s most respected public figure. Scandals of one kind or another involving the family began to rise in the later years of his reign.

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