Spain: King Felipe breaks with his father
Spain's King Felipe VI has renounced his personal inheritance from his father Juan Carlos I and cut the former monarch's annual stipend from the royal budget. The move came after an investigation was launched into an offshore fund set up by Juan Carlos. The move is being interpreted as a break between the king and his father - but will Felipe be able to rescue the royal family's prestige?
A hard but correct step
The pro-monarchy daily ABC praises the king's action as exemplary:
“Don Felipe did the right thing because there was no other way for him to defend the monarchy, stability and institutional rigour to guarantee their future. ... The judicial investigations left him no room for manoeuvre. The personal sacrifice he is making by effectively breaking with his father is not only devastating, but also a duty based on the royal family's need to set an example and to honour the institution whose reputation was tarnished by the scandals of Don Juan Carlos's last years in office.”
Royal prestige on the rocks
Even those who are grateful to the former king Juan Carlos for his services to democracy are still entitled to call for him to be put on trial, El País explains:
“The respect and prestige he gained among people and governments of different colours should have been adequate compensation for those who, like him, played an important political role in putting the dictatorship behind us. Demanding that he be held accountable before the law, if the judges decide he should and legitimate interpretation of the norms allows it, is not inconsistent with continuing to give him credit for his role. But sadly not out of any affection for him as an individual, but out of an unqualified commitment to a constitution which we owe to him.”