Will Duke Admit Wrongdoing in Corruption Scandal?

King Juan Carlos’ son-in-law, Iñaki Urdangarín, the Duke of Palma, is in negotiations with prosecutors for a possible guilty plea amid a flurry of corruption allegations, El Pais and other Spanish news outlets are reporting.

In a recent deposition, Urdangarín put the blame on former associate Diego Torres. Both are accused of stealing public funds through their work with the Noos Institute, a non-profit organization.

But pointing the finger at Torres backfired, with the Duke’s former right hand man making allegations about the King’s involvement in helping with his son-in-law’s business affairs.

The King had once been seen as the one who warned Urdangarín to stay away from lucrative dealings.

Now, there is talk of Urdangarín working on a truce with Torres and negotiating with prosecutors to pay back millions of euros. While a guilty plea may hurt the monarchy, it may be less painful that a trial or jail sentence.

The corruption scandal, plus the King’s hunting trip to Botswana, has shocked people around the world who thought of the Spanish monarchy as a model for other countries with royal families.

Don Juan Carlos’ popularity, credibility and work in creating a democratic Spain gave him wide latitude to travel and get involved with politics and business. It appears that the Spanish head of state will be on a much tighter leash from now on.

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Constitutional Crisis? Newspaper Weighs Situation

El Pais, one of Spain’s leading newspapers and often used as a source for this blog, has published several articles analyzing the Royal Family’s situation in Spain.

Many influential politicians and business leaders, the paper says several factors are affecting the Monarchy’s popularity — King Juan Carlos’ health, his recent trip to Botswana, his son-in-law facing corruption allegations, the economy, leftist movements and the fact that many young people don’t remember the the institution’s importance in establishing democracy.

One article looks at the King’s situation, another reviews Prince Felipe’s role and another reviews the Queen’s recent actions, including only spending a few minutes visiting her husband at the hospital.

King Juan Carlos takes oath. Note the not often seen
"Tumular" Crown of Spain.

Socialist leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba said he would have told the King not to go hunting in Africa. The comments come amid a debate over how much control the elected Government should have over the Monarch’s activities.

Still, despite other leftist comments against the Monarchy, the Socialist leadership is staying loyal.

Meanwhile, as planned, Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia stepped in for Don Juan Carlos in giving out this year’s Cervantes prize at the University of Alcalá. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was born in Alcalá in the 1500’s.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Borja Fotógrafos