Senator Jordi Guillot, who represents the Ecosocialist Iniciativa per Catalunya-Verds (Initiative for Catalonia Greens) in Spain’s Upper House of Parliament, has proposed that members of the Royal Family be banned from participating in businesses, advising companies or having a financial interest in them.
He spoke out over the so-called “el escÃ¡ndolo UrdangarÃn” which has embroiled the Duke of Palma, husband of the Infanta Cristina, daughter of Spain’s monarch Juan Carlos I. Guillot wants the matter debated in the Senate when it holds its first meeting on December 13th.
Guillot is seeking to have the Real Decreto amended – this royal decree regulates the treatment and honours that correspond to members of the Crown. He wants the decree to be amended to ensure that no member of the Royal Family can take part in remunerated activities or form any part of a business, and that no person convicted of a crime be able to remain a member of the Royal Family.
Such an amendment would see the Duke of Palma, IÃ±aki UrdangarÃn, thrown out of the ranks of royalty and his titles withdrawn, should he be convicted. The Duke is an advisor to TelefÃ³nica Internacional and, together with his wife, is co-owner of Aizoon SL. Since 2006, this company has had a 50 per cent holding in NÃ³os.
Senator Guillot is angry over ‘the silence’ that the Casa Real has maintained over the judicial investigation into the business activities of IÃ±aki UrdangarÃn. Guillot stated: “This is another case that demonstrates the necessity of knowing the accounts of the Royal Family. It will be good to oblige the members of the monarchy to declare their assets and the economic activities that they participate in, in a similar manner to the other senior members of the government.”
IÃ±aki UrdangarÃn, is being investigated over allegations that NÃ³os received money from large businesses and private entities.
Investigations by the Agencia Tributaria, the economic crime squad of the National Police, and by the anti-corruption prosecutor of the Balearic Islands, have found that between 2003 and 2007 associates linked to UrdangarÃn invoiced millions of Euros to large companies. These included Ford, Toyota, Volkswagen, Iberdrola, Bancaja, the football clubs Villareal and Valencia, plus Roig Grupo CorporaciÃ³n and the Sociedad General de Autores (SGA). The report also showed that NÃ³os, a supposedly non-profit making company, had relations with other major companies such as Repsol, BAF, Motor Press IbÃ©rica and financial institutions.
It is believed that the clients of UrdangarÃn paid him and his associates large sums of money. It is claimed that SGA handed over 760,000 Euros to NÃ³os, whilst a car company gave another million Euros. It has also bgeen alleged that the Duke of Palma received money for publicising a series of events NÃ³os organized with public funds in Valencia and Palma. NÃ³os is also said to have received 625,000 Euros from private sponsorship, plus 2.3 million Euros from the Balearic Government of former president Jaume Matas.
The Spanish daily newspaper El Mundo claims that apart from the Duke, his wife and their private secretary are also involved. They could face charges of misappropriating funds, fraud, falsifying documents and obstructing justice. Given the seriousness of the charges, the investigators are being accused of bowing to pressure from the King in an attempted cover-up.
Last year, the then Izquierda Unida mayor of the AndalucÃa town of Puerto Real, JosÃ© Antonio Barroso, attacked the Spanish monarch, Juan Carlos I, and has repeated the accusation that he is corrupt. He accused the monarch of having “enriched himself illegally” and added some unflattering remarks on the morality of his father, adding ”like father, like son”.
The Partido Comunista (PC) also organised a petition, presented to the Spanish Parliament, demanding transparency in the accounts of the Royal household. The PC pointed out it was “unusual” that the King “does not explain how he spends the budget he receives from the State, around 10 million euros a year. Until he declares his assets there will be suspicions.”Tags: Europe
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This post was written by David Eade