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  #41  
Old 07-19-2018, 03:08 AM
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Leaving aside the fact that in popular culture sex-greed and money-greed often go hand-in-hand, What’s interesting about all these allegations about graft and influence peddling is just how much it dovetails with his extra marital affairs and the feeble effort at keeping it out of the press by paying out hush money or other (pointless) efforts at subterfuge.

Even if any of this isn’t technically illegal (and that’s a pretty big if) i don’t think his reputation is ever going to recover from taint of all this. That’s ok as a reappraisal of his (overrated IMO) role in the transition and his reputation is long overdue anyway.
Once your reputation's gone, you can boldly carry on!
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Old 07-19-2018, 05:15 AM
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Once your reputation's gone, you can boldly carry on!
I was thinking in terms more of his reputation after he dies but that’s also a valid point.
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  #43  
Old 07-19-2018, 05:30 AM
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I have been an admirer of Felipe and Letizia for a long time now, and I have read some very interesting articles about JC and Sofia. I honestly believe that not one darn thing will ever happen to this man, he will continue as before and everyone around him will bow to his feet.....nothing he does or has would ever surprise me in the least....the very way he has treated his wife and other women has been disgusting. I have an old saying, *Respect is not earned by money, position, power or title, it is earned by how you treat other people*.....he should get absolutely no respect from anyone anywhere now, yet his Arab friends will always have his back.....I feel for Felipe to have him as a father.......
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  #44  
Old 07-19-2018, 06:29 AM
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I have been an admirer of Felipe and Letizia for a long time now, and I have read some very interesting articles about JC and Sofia. I honestly believe that not one darn thing will ever happen to this man, he will continue as before and everyone around him will bow to his feet.....nothing he does or has would ever surprise me in the least....the very way he has treated his wife and other women has been disgusting. I have an old saying, *Respect is not earned by money, position, power or title, it is earned by how you treat other people*.....he should get absolutely no respect from anyone anywhere now, yet his Arab friends will always have his back.....I feel for Felipe to have him as a father.......
not to excuse anything but I think JC is a man of his time, the way he lived and the environment cannot be transferred into today, same goes for the type of marriage he and Sofia had ... not sure JC was a bad father, just different from what is 'normal' today.
And even if Felipe might be less shrewed than his father, he will still have learned from him what it takes to steer a country in all aspects.
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  #45  
Old 07-19-2018, 06:36 AM
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I have a copy of the english translation of the book that JC collaborated with Jose Luis de Vilallonga and its... got some interesting things to say about these accusations - and straight from the horses mouth to boot! It’s too long to quote here but JC basically tells vilallonga about his relations with the Arab monarchs and how the Spanish Govt often asked him to use his connections with them for various reasons including oil and diplomacy that’s quite...revealing (pp 179-182 Jose Luis de vilallonga The King: A Life of King Juan Carlos of Spain trans. Antonia Bell from French, 1994 edn.)

In the same book JC also more or less openly admits to arranging meetings of the kind outlined in the current accusations - i can’t find the page number and my copy has no index for some bizarre reason.

There was a book written back in the 1990s in Spanish called “the cost of the transistion” by a journalist called Gregorio Moran that’s got a lot more detail about all this apparently - any Spanish speakers on the forum read it?

Also Preston and Powell (JC’s two English language biographers) allude to the corruption charges but brush them off (they do the same with regards to his goatishness as well).
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  #46  
Old 07-19-2018, 06:54 AM
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not to excuse anything but I think JC is a man of his time, the way he lived and the environment cannot be transferred into today, same goes for the type of marriage he and Sofia had ... not sure JC was a bad father, just different from what is 'normal' today.
And even if Felipe might be less shrewed than his father, he will still have learned from him what it takes to steer a country in all aspects.
Sometimes too, the best example a father can set teaches the child what *not* to do.

I'm in agreement with you, Duke of Marmalade that the era of Juan Carlos and Sofia stem from a totally different world than we know it today. They married in 1962 and when we really think about it, at that time so much hadn't changed yet. The sexual revolution was just a flicker in the night. Women's Lib and the fight for equal rights was just beginning to formulate. I grew up in the 60s and in my immediate surroundings, divorce was something still whispered about and carried a stigma and it was rare to find a woman who worked outside the home. I even think that perhaps what we would call corruption and clandestine dealings were harder to pinpoint because, for one reason, the technology was so completely different and it was far easier to cover things up.

There are many factors that come into play when dealing with the past even though the past is in our own lifetime. I guess that's one advantage of being (ahem) older is that we remember how different things were back then.
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  #47  
Old 07-19-2018, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by WreathOfLaurels View Post
I have a copy of the english translation of the book that JC collaborated with Jose Luis de Vilallonga and its... got some interesting things to say about these accusations - and straight from the horses mouth to boot! It’s too long to quote here but JC basically tells vilallonga about his relations with the Arab monarchs and how the Spanish Govt often asked him to use his connections with them for various reasons including oil and diplomacy that’s quite...revealing (pp 179-182 Jose Luis de vilallonga The King: A Life of King Juan Carlos of Spain trans. Antonia Bell from French, 1994 edn.)



How would lobbying on behalf of the Spanish government or Spanish companies in trade or diplomatic talks with Arab rulers personally benefit King Juan Carlos (financially, I mean) ? And how is that different from what royals from other countries (and also presidents BTW) routinely do in visits to the Middle East and North Africa ? Finally, why would that be illegal ?


I am afraid JC is being a victim of cultural bias on this forum. US and northern European posters may be holding on to a stereotype or assumption that Spaniards and the Spanish government are generally corrupt and tolerant of corruption and that, by extension, King Juan Carlos should be too, as his daughter and son-in-law were. Still, I haven't seen any concrete evidence of that, other than the highly doubtful claims of his mistress, and I still don't understand what the charges against the King emeritus are. Maybe I am ignorant about those matters. If so, I would appreciate if someone could clarify. I would also like to hear what the Spanish posters think about this issue.



On the other hand, I am firmly convinced that the 2-billion-euro figures that have been mentioned are completely fictional. Estimates from more reputable sources actually put the Spanish royal family among the poorest in Europe with a net worth barely around 10 million dollars. If they have a "secret fortune" somewhere, they are sure very good at hiding it and actually very bad at using it as they actually live a very frugal and modest life by royal standards.


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Originally Posted by M. Payton View Post
I have been an admirer of Felipe and Letizia for a long time now, and I have read some very interesting articles about JC and Sofia. [...] *Respect is not earned by money, position, power or title, it is earned by how you treat other people*.....he should get absolutely no respect from anyone anywhere now, yet his Arab friends will always have his back.....I feel for Felipe to have him as a father.......

I wonder if you have also read about JC being one of the most important figures in Spanish political history in the late 20th century and the man who literally brought Spain back into democracy and back into the family of western European nations. That is precisely why QEII mentioned in her speech to King Felipe VI that King Juan Carlos was given the honor, during his state visit to the UK in 1986, to address the joint houses of thw UK Parliament. He was the first foreign monarch to be awarded that distinction.
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  #48  
Old 07-19-2018, 07:57 AM
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The personal fortune of King Juan Carlos has been debated for many years back in 2012 during the height of the recession it was estimated at $2.3 billion.

https://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/29/w...-monarchy.html
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  #49  
Old 07-19-2018, 08:04 AM
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How would lobbying on behalf of the Spanish government or Spanish companies in trade or diplomatic talks with Arab rulers personally benefit King Juan Carlos (financially, I mean) ? And how is that different from what royals from other countries (and also presidents BTW) routinely do in visits to the Middle East and North Africa ? Finally, why would that be illegal ?
He’s been taking a cut from oil revenue coming in from the Arab countries to Spain for years (I believe thats called a kickback) and he’s often been pocketing gifts from these rulers as payment for using his connections (I believe that’s called influence peddling).

Quote:
I am afraid JC is being a victim of cultural bias on this forum. US and northern European posters may be holding on to a stereotype or assumption that Spaniards and the Spanish government are generally corrupt and tolerant of corruption and that, by extension, King Juan Carlos should be too, as his daughter and son-in-law were.
No, he’s not. Spain’s corruption problem is well documented. It’s not as bad as certain other countries I could mention *cough* Greece *cough*, buts its there. The Spanish themselves are the first to critics especially it. JC is also the one who’s made a big song and dance over the years about “the Royal Family not being above the law etc...” so if anything than he’s a liar and a hypocrite. If he’s got nothing to hide than he’s got nothing to fear. He’s brought this on himself.

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Still, I haven't seen any concrete evidence of that, other than the highly doubtful claims of his mistress, and I still don't understand what the charges against the King emeritus are. Maybe I am ignorant about those matters. If so, I would appreciate if someone could clarify. I would also like to hear what the Spanish posters think about this issue.
He’s accused of taking advantage of ms Larsen’s tax status as a Monaco national to dodge certain taxes on a property deal in Morocco and of not declaring his total wealth for tax purposes, among other things. Ms Larsen isn’t the only person who’s been making these claims and although she’s not the most reliable source. She made the claim (according to the article from El Pais I linked to in a earlier post) to a senior policemen who is now under investigation for corruption and blackmail and is believed to have leaked the recording to try and chuck a spanner in the works. For all we know she could be telling the truth. It has been known to happen, even if it is La Corinna.

Over the last two decades, questions have been asked about his lifestyle (and that of the RF in general) vs their official income and where the extra cash is coming from. The panama papers had a fair amount to say about some financial deals one of his sisters has been involved in and JC has had a hand in as well.

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On the other hand, I am firmly convinced that the 2-billion-euro figures that have been mentioned are completely fictional. Estimates from nire reputable sources actually put the Spanish royal family among the poorest in Europe with a net worth barely around 10 million dollars. If they have a "secret fortune" somewhere, they are sure very good at hiding it and actually very bad at using it as they actually live a very frugal and modest life by royal standards.
I agree, 2bil euro sounds grotesque. The reputable sources however calculate based on what’s in public domain and these assets are by their nature secret. It’s money for a rainy day and protection. Still, since the SRF pay income tax thats still tax evasion and still illegal.

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I wonder if you have also read about JC being one of the most important figures in Spanish political history in the late 20th century and the man who literally brought Spain back into democracy and back into the family of western European nation. That is precisely why QEII mentioned in her speech to King Felipe VI that King Juan Carlos was given the honor, during his state visit to the UK in 1986, to address the joint houses of thw UK Parliament. He was the first foreign monarch to be awarded that honor.
JC’s role has been greatly over exaggerated and that the transistion was really Suarez’s achievement not JC’s. Have also always suspected that Sofia was the real brains of the operation as well with regards to her and JC’s relationship and that this explains his horrid behavior towards her - strong intelligent woman and weak stupid man with overinflated manhood - never a good combination. I also believe fundamentally that the Transisition happened because the people of spain wanted it to happen and that the time was right - JC simply was in the right place at the right time. If he wanted to keep his crown than he really did not have a lot of other choice in the matter did he?

I’m tired of this fairy story that the king waved a magic wand and all was well - fairy tales are for children and its time we all grew up.
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  #50  
Old 07-19-2018, 08:40 AM
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He’s been taking a cut from oil revenue coming in from the Arab countries to Spain for years (I believe thats called a kickback) and he’s often been pocketing gifts from these rulers as payment for using his connections (I believe that’s called influence peddling).

How could he "take a cut from oil revenue coming from Arab countries to Spain"? That doesn't make any sense.


As for pocketing gifts, if the accusation is that he was lobbying on behalf of Spanish companies in Arab countries, the Spanish companies should be the ones offering him kickbacks (as Odebrecht did for example in Brazil to former president Lula, now in jail). Why would Arab rulers give him gifts for securing contracts for Spanish companies in their countries? Maybe the charge is the opposite, i.e. that he was lobbying the Spanish government on behalf of Arab interests, but that is also unlikely since, as a constitutional monarch, JC would little or no influence on government contracts or trade policy in Spain.



The accusations of tax evasion and money laundering from his mistress seem to make a little more sense, but, again, what is the concrete evidence besides her word ? Just to go back to concrete comparisons, in Lula's case for example, there was evidence that construction companies like Odebrecht or OAS did give or promise him a beach penthouse, a new site for his presidential institute, and a country estate, which was registered obviously under someone else's name, but which nonetheless the former Brazilian president frequented regularly. The same construction companies also paid for renovations in the said properties and paid the former president inflated speech fees in trips to African and Latin American countries where the former president lobbied on their behalf. When I see similar concrete evidence against JC, I will believe he is guilty as charged.
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  #51  
Old 07-19-2018, 09:11 AM
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How could he "take a cut from oil revenue coming from Arab countries to Spain"? That doesn't make any sense.
He was using his connections in the ME to get more oil for Spain during various fuel crieses (Charles Powell, Juan Carlos: self made monarch 1996 pp 200-201) but I think it’s unlikely that those monarchs are giving discount oil to Spain without getting so thing in return. Ok, not “taking a cut” per se, but still cause for concern.

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As for pocketing gifts, if the accusation is that he was lobbying on behalf of Spanish companies in Arab countries, the Spanish companies should be the ones offering him kickbacks (as Odebrecht did for example in Brazil to former president Lula, now in jail). Why would Arab rulers give him gifts for securing contracts for Spanish companies in their countries? Maybe the charge is the opposite, i.e. that he was lobbying the Spanish government on behalf of Arab interests, but that is also unlikely since, as a constitutional monarch, JC would little or no influence on government contracts or trade policy in Spain.
He’s actually had plenty of influence on these types of activites - he’s been criticized for being too close to german developers in Majorca and lobbying on their behalf. JC’s modus operandi AFAIK is creating the opportunity for certain meetings and than getting a “gift” (really a bribe) in return for making it happen.

Again much of this is in the legit Spanish press, not the tabloids and these allegations go back to at least the late 1980s if not earlier.
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  #52  
Old 07-22-2018, 12:40 PM
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Again much of this is in the legit Spanish press, not the tabloids and these allegations go back to at least the late 1980s if not earlier.
Which is why, in the end, I think he’ll weather these accusations and come out relatively unscathed. I think you’d be hard pressed to find an adult in Spain who wasn’t aware that Juan Carlos has always been suspected of not being completely above board in his business dealings. As you say, the allegations aren’t new. I think he’ll go through a rough patch, reputation wise, and may be asked to step back even further than he already has from the public side of royal family life, (while no doubt still being asked to help out in any way he can behind the scenes). But as time goes on, and especially once he dies, I think he’ll be remembered more for his positive contributions to Spain - which have been considerable - than for his shady business deals or his failings as a husband.

Juan Carlos functioned as a de facto politician for most of his time as monarch. And he did well in many ways. But it’s the rare person who is given actual power and a life time role on the national stage who wouldn’t at some point wind up crossing a line to benefit himself as well as the country. He’s a good example of why democracies need regular elections and monarchs in those democracies should be relegated to purely ceremonial roles.
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  #53  
Old 07-23-2018, 04:22 AM
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Which is why, in the end, I think he’ll weather these accusations and come out relatively unscathed. I think you’d be hard pressed to find an adult in Spain who wasn’t aware that Juan Carlos has always been suspected of not being completely above board in his business dealings. As you say, the allegations aren’t new. I think he’ll go through a rough patch, reputation wise, and may be asked to step back even further than he already has from the public side of royal family life, (while no doubt still being asked to help out in any way he can behind the scenes). But as time goes on, and especially once he dies, I think he’ll be remembered more for his positive contributions to Spain - which have been considerable - than for his shady business deals or his failings as a husband.

Juan Carlos functioned as a de facto politician for most of his time as monarch. And he did well in many ways. But it’s the rare person who is given actual power and a life time role on the national stage who wouldn’t at some point wind up crossing a line to benefit himself as well as the country. He’s a good example of why democracies need regular elections and monarchs in those democracies should be relegated to purely ceremonial roles.
Thanks, that's exactly how I see this.
I think at the end of the day JC's legacy is bringing along democracy - what proves his intentions for Spain and the Spaniards were ultimately good. To put under scrutiny how he did it - by today's standards - is pointless imo, because his way might have been the only way, with everything that goes with it.
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Old 07-23-2018, 04:27 AM
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Everyone in Spain knew Juan Carlos had done "fishy" businesses.
Why? He came to Spain under Franco virtually penniless and now has a LOT of money, that couldn't have come from the country's coffins (we were broke AF in the 70s and 80s), so it was basically word on the street that he's done lots of somewhat illegal stuff, that's why he's so close to the Saudi Royal House and was VERY good friends with the likes of Adnan Khashoggi.
Put two and two together and you'll get the bigger picture.
People also think that he groomed Felipe to continue his association with them, to keep the money flow towards the Spanish Royal House.
Urdangarin did his own illegal stuff but he's basically a scapegoat (look, we're a "clean" royal house and we allow our members to stand trial), if the justice were actually to dwell deep on Juan Carlos, they would find much more things than they did on Cristina's husband.
He had a much different role than any other monarch of his generation, because he succeeded a dictator and had to bring democracy to a country, we're greateful for the latter but that doesn't mean he won't go down in history as a cheating, lying con-man.
You can be a great monarch and still be those things, it's not mutually exclusive.
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Old 07-23-2018, 04:58 AM
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That's shameful. The King and those of his family who support him should be provided for by the state. They should get enough money to live a life appropriate for their official status. But nothing else.
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  #56  
Old 07-23-2018, 05:44 AM
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That's shameful. The King and those of his family who support him should be provided for by the state. They should get enough money to live a life appropriate for their official status. But nothing else.
But between 1936 and 1975 the Spanish royal family was without throne, with periods in exile. Even Princess Sofía found her own family exiled, so also from that side the finances plummeted. Like any other royal family in exile, it is exhausting for their bank accounts as one is expected to keep up a certain standing but has no income anymore. Most of the dealings of the King originate from the penniless period: find creative ways to re-build a wealth gone lost.
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Old 07-23-2018, 05:51 AM
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Thanks for clarifying that, Duc et Pair. But, is that an excuse for illegal activities? Is that what a country should expect from its leader?
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Old 07-23-2018, 05:58 AM
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[...]

I am afraid JC is being a victim of cultural bias on this forum. US and northern European posters may be holding on to a stereotype or assumption that Spaniards and the Spanish government are generally corrupt and tolerant of corruption and that, by extension, King Juan Carlos should be too, as his daughter and son-in-law were. [...]
That prejudice is easily countered with the very Northern European Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands (grandfather of King Willem-Alexander) who did accept bribery money from Lockheed to use his influence to get the Dutch Government behind the purchase of 213 fighters of the type F-16 Fighting Falcon for the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

What did Prince Bernhard, married with a quite rich lady (Queen Juliana) and with a lavish state income, with that money? Why did he need it anyway? He needed it to finance his "poupette", his maîtresse Hélène baronne Lejeune-Grinda and their extramarital daughter Alexia. He bought a luxury penthouse at the Avenue Raphaël in Paris' 16th arrondissement and gave an allowance to his maîtresse. Of course that was a costly affair.

So let us say, Juan Carlos was certainly not the only one.
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Old 07-23-2018, 06:00 AM
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Thanks for clarifying that, Duc et Pair. But, is that an excuse for illegal activities? Is that what a country should expect from its leader?
He was no leader between 1936 and 1975, of course. He could be excluded any moment, had Generalissimo Francisco Franco another idea than designating the young Bourbon Prince as his heir.
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Old 07-23-2018, 06:26 PM
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Corruption is defined as “the exploitation of public office for private gain”. The activity does not need to be illegal per se for the activity to be corrupt but even if JC hasn’t broken Spanish law regarding his taxes or buisness deals, its hard to avoid the fact that he has been exploiting his public poisition as head of state for his own private financial gain.

The SRF’s finances in exile were never as bad as they have been made out as being - franco restored the families income after the nationalists won the war and JC’s father was financially supported by a number of wealthy Spanish industrialists and aristocrats for years. The claims about regal poverty are a sob story the bourbons used to avoid paying their taxes and by JC to justify his feathering of his nest. It’s just entitlement and an unwillingness to downsize to somthing more modest and within their financial means.

I’m glad somone has brought up the stuff about Bernhard and the Lockheed Martin kickbacks - i forgot about that.

I don’t consider this to be a footnote to JC’s record as king. These activites, IMO, call his professional judgement into question and raises doubts about many of his other supposed “achievements”. He has been at best making mistakes due to being badly advised and isolated. At worse he’s deliberately criminal and acting with impunity.

One way or another he belongs in prison.
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