Spanish PM urges former king to speak about financial probes

October 15, 2021 GMT

MADRID (AP) — Spain’s prime minister is urging former King Juan Carlos I to offer a public explanation of his suspected financial wrongdoings, which are the target of criminal investigations and have tarnished the Spanish monarchy.

“In my opinion, it would be good if King Juan Carlos said what he thought about all these issues, which are unpleasant,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said in a television interview late Thursday.

Sánchez told broadcaster La Sexta that the information that has come out so far “has eroded the Spanish people’s confidence in their institutions.”

Juan Carlos moved abroad just over a year ago as allegations of financial scandals swirled around him and embarrassed the royal household.

The former monarch, 83, has been the target of official investigations in Spain and Switzerland. One of them involved possible kickbacks in a high-speed railway contract in Saudi Arabia.

King Felipe VI, who rose to the Spanish throne after Juan Carlos’ abdication in 2014, has distanced himself from his father.

Sánchez said Felipe is trying to bring about a “renewal” of the monarchy, which the Socialist-led government supports.