A senior Spanish government official has chastised Spain’s former king, saying Juan Carlos I should have used his first trip to exile to clarify investigations into his financial affairs.
Government spokeswoman Isabel Rodríguez said the ex-monarch “missed an opportunity” to “provide explanations and ask for forgiveness”.
Juan Carlos’ conduct in recent years has been “neither ethical nor exemplary”, she said in an interview with Spanish public radio RNE.
On the other hand, she reiterated the support of the socialist-led coalition government to the son of Juan Carlos and current monarch, Felipe VI, for his efforts to increase financial transparency within the royal house.
His comments came as Juan Carlos made what is known as a private visit to the Royal Zarzuela Palace in Madrid on Monday, after three days of taking part in a regatta with friends in northwestern Spain.
The financial investigations brought difficult times for the government and the royal family. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said Juan Carlos owes the Spanish people an explanation for his financial affairs. But the former king returned without providing one.
The financial scandals surrounding 84-year-old Juan Carlos forced him to move almost two years ago to Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, where he has close ties with the local royal family.
Juan Carlos’ four-day trip to Spain came after Spanish and Swiss prosecutors suspended investigations into his finances.
Spanish prosecutors have failed to find evidence to bring the former monarch to justice because much of the alleged misconduct, involving millions of euros in undeclared accounts, occurred when Juan Carlos was l legal immunity as King of Spain. Other acts of potential fraud were not time-barred.