Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Fraud scandal turns Spaniards against their royals  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 08/02/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN -Arab News) PALMA, Spain: Spain’s royal family used to be a cherished part of the scenery on the picturesque island of Majorca. Now a fraud scandal has made them more like a blot on the landscape.For the royals, the island has turned from a place of sunbathing and yacht cruises to the center of a scandal that has landed King Juan Carlos’s youngest daughter Cristina in court for questioning on Saturday.“We locals here are very supportive of the royals,” said Maria de Lluc, a 34-year-old foot doctor.“But now with everything that has happened, the monarchy has fallen low, in our eyes,” she said. “I am very disappointed.”The Marivent Palace, a red-roofed edifice overlooking the Mediterranean, has for decades been the family’s summer residence.Among those who have holidayed there are Cristina and her husband Inaki Urdangarin, known as the Duke and Duchess of Palma, after the capital of the island.A judge here summoned Cristina for questioning on Saturday as a formal suspect over tax fraud and money-laundering allegations.She was to be questioned over her role in a business she owned with her husband, who is himself accused of embezzling public funds.Photographed by the press in the harbor and on yachts in the sparkling blue sea, the royal family provided a glamorous image of Majorca.The biggest island of the Balearic archipelago, it is popular with tourists as well as the rich and famous — the US film star Michael Douglas owns a house here.But Spain’s economic crisis has shown up the divisions between rich and poor, fanning outrage over the royal scandal.“It is true that there is a high concentration of wealth here, but we also have 18 percent of the population living below the poverty line in the Balearics,” said Aina Calvo, a former mayor of Palma.“Suddenly it is suspected that taxpayers’ money which belongs to everyone, including those in poverty, was used for personal gain. It is very hard to take on board.”Locals in Palma were so shocked by the scandal that the town hall changed the name of a street that bore their title, “Dukes of Palma.”“That decision was applauded by the vast majority of the citizens,” Calvo said.The royal family used to enjoy broad respect — particularly Juan Carlos, credited with helping steer Spain to democracy after the death of the dictator Francisco Franco in 1975.But their popularity has plunged since the case against Urdangarin opened in 2011. A recent poll showed support for the monarchy had fallen below 50 percent.“The royal family seemed different, like they were good and honorable people,” said de Lluc.“Now this has come out, they look just like any politicians.”Majorca used to welcome the attention in the days when the king and his wife Queen Sofia would visit its shops and cafes.“They used to go to the village and buy bread and pasties and eat local cakes. The king used to go shooting in the countryside and to restaurants to eat egg and chips,” said de Lluc.Since the scandal broke, however, the family has kept largely out of sight here.They used to sun themselves on the Fortuna, a yacht lent to them by a Balearics tourism business group, but Juan Carlos gave the boat back last year.“Last summer nothing was heard of them,” said de Lluc.Since the case broke, Cristina and Urdangarin have been sidelined from official duties.Promising to be more transparent, the palace has started publishing its accounts. But the scandal, along with Juan Carlos’s faltering health, has raised debate about the future of his reign.“The royal household’s communications department is making a huge effort to adapt to the times,” said Ana Romero, who covers the royal palace for El Mundo newspaper.“But to many people this effort doesn’t seem big enough.”


 


Arab News




  MENA News Headlines
 Jan 24 2015 - Botched repair of Tut mask 'reversible': German conservatorAFP
(MENAFN - AFP) The damage caused by a botched repair of the mask of Tutankhamun that left dried glue on the priceless relic may be undone with careful treatment, a German conservator said ...

 Jan 24 2015 - UAE upset Japan into Cup semisArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) SYDNEY Jan 23 (AFP): Japan were sent crashing out of the Asian Cup on Friday as the United Arab Emirates shocked the defending champions 5-4 on penalties after a pulsating ...

 Jan 24 2015 - Kuwait's Kamshad sets record in Skydive DubaiArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) DUBAI Jan 23 (KUNA): Osama Ali Kamshad of Kuwait entered the Guinness World Records as the first disabled parachutist from the Arab world and the Middle East after making a ...

 Jan 24 2015 - Returning Gyan the hero as Ghana 'down' AlgeriaArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) MONGOMO Equatorial Guinea Jan 23 (AFP): The returning Asamoah Gyan struck a dramatic stoppage-time winner as Ghana kickstarted their Africa Cup of Nations campaign with a 1-0 ...

 Jan 24 2015 - Iraq stun Iran in thrillerArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) CANBERRA Jan 23 (AFP): Salam Shakir scored the winning spot-kick as Iraq stunned 10-man Iran 7-6 on penalties to reach the Asian Cup semis in a match of high drama between the ...

 Jan 24 2015 - 'Hala February 2015' - Musical events cancelledArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) KUWAIT CITY Jan 23 (KUNA): The Hala February 2015 festival Friday announced cancellation of remaining musical and entertainment events following demise of King Abdullah bin ...

 Jan 24 2015 - Kuwait- Amir offers condolencesArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) KUWAIT CITY Jan 23 (KUNA): His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent a cable of condolences to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud on the demise of ...

 Jan 24 2015 - ME losses of oil exports to hit USD300b in 2015MENAFN
(MENAFN) Losses from lower oil exports should sap up to USD300 billion from economies in the Middle East, as countries in the region adjust to falling crude prices, The Peninsula Qatar ...

 Jan 24 2015 - Saudi inflation to reach 2.6 percent in 2015MENAFN
(MENAFN) The Central Department of Statistics and Information (CDSI) data showed that Consumer Price Index for December decelerated to 2.4 percent compared to 2.5 percent in November, Arab News ...

 Jan 24 2015 - Egypt eyes 4 percent growth in FY2014-15MENAFN
(MENAFN) Egypt expects economic growth of around 4 percent in fiscal year 2014-15, which ends in June, boosted by rising confidence and a windfall from lower oil prices, Arab News reported.The budget ...

more...


 






Google

Electronic & Mobile Payment

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help