MADRID – A senior Spanish government official on Monday rebuked the former King of Spain, saying Juan Carlos had to use his first trip home from exile to clear the air of investigations into his financial affairs.

Government spokeswoman Isabelle Rodriguez said the ex-monarch “missed the opportunity” to “give explanations and apologize”.

Juan Carlos’ behavior in recent years has been “neither ethical nor exemplary,” she said in an interview with Spanish public radio RNE.

On the other hand, she reiterated the support of the coalition government of the Socialists for the son of Juan Carlos and the current monarch Felipe VI for his efforts to increase financial transparency in the royal family.

Her comments came when Juan Carlos made what was called a private visit to the Royal Palace of Sarzuela in Madrid on Monday, after three days of participating in a regatta with friends in northwestern Spain.

Financial investigations have brought some awkward moments for the government and the royal family. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Juan Carlos was obliged to explain his financial affairs to the people of Spain. But the former king returned without him.


The financial scandals surrounding 84-year-old Juan Carlos forced him to move to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, almost two years ago, where he has close relations with local members of the royal family.

Juan Carlos’ four-day trip to Spain came after Spanish and Swiss prosecutors postponed an investigation into his finances.

Spanish prosecutors have found no evidence to bring the former monarch to justice because much of the alleged violations involving millions of euros in undeclared accounts occurred when Juan Carlos had legal immunity as king of Spain. Other acts of potential fraud have gone beyond the statute of limitations.

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