November 29, 2023

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The arrival of the former King of Spain Juan Carlos to Spain after two years of exile

The arrival of the former King of Spain Juan Carlos to Spain after two years of exile

MADRID (Reuters) – Former Spanish King Juan Carlos is due to arrive in Spain on Thursday for his first visit since leaving Abu Dhabi in 2020, amid a cloud of financial scandals that have rocked the royal house.

The former king is expected to be in Vigo on Spain’s northwest coast on Thursday evening, and then go to Sansenso, a nearby resort, to take part in a sailing regatta, Pedro Campos, an old friend, told state TV. . Juan Carlos will be staying at Campos’ house during the visit.

“He is very happy to come and be here to recover after a two-year absence and do something he loves so much, which is sailing,” Campos said. Campos added that the king, aged 84 and walking with a cane, will sail on a ship adapted to his situation.

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The royal house said in a statement on Wednesday evening that Juan Carlos’ trip will end on Monday with a visit to his son King Felipe in Madrid.

The statement said that Juan Carlos would not be staying at the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid, the official residence of the king.

Once revered for his role in the country’s transition to democracy, the former king’s popularity declined dramatically after a series of scandals. He abdicated the throne in 2014.

The former monarch left Spain for Abu Dhabi in August 2020 after opening several investigations in Spain and Switzerland into the alleged fraud.

He now maintains his permanent residence in the Gulf country, but said in March he would visit Spain more frequently after prosecutors dropped investigations. Read more

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Since the investigations were closed, the Spanish government has not opposed his visit to the country although several ministers have asked him to explain his actions. “The Spanish people deserve an explanation,” Economy Minister Nadia Calvino said on radio station SER on Thursday.

Juan Carlos is still facing trial in Britain in a harassment case brought against him by his Danish ex-girlfriend Corina zu Sayn Wittgenstein. Read more

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(Additional reporting by Christina Thiekear; Editing by Inti Landauro, Frank Jack Daniel and Susan Fenton)

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