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  #521  
Old 01-20-2018, 01:12 PM
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Actually 25.000 € is the amount that Elena received in the last year of her father's reign when she already had very few public events, and when for the first time the House of the King detailed the accounts. According to the declaration of Cristina's income presented at the trial, when she and her sister were fully part of House of the King and had more activities, they received 70.000 € a year.

Now neither of them is part of the Royal Family, and therefore they do not receive money. But they still have protection from the State Security Forces and all the protocol privileges of being infantas of Spain.
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  #522  
Old 01-20-2018, 01:28 PM
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Exactly, they got paid for the work they did for the crown (by taxpayers money but at least they did something in return), in addition both Infantas held their jobs at Mapfre and Caixa due to their royal connections (Jaime got a similar job at Winterthur). The plan was to get Inaki a similar job at Laureus what would have fitted perfectly, but the salary for 200.000 Euros was not good enough and he refused. Finally JC forced Inaki to accept the Telefonica job but it was too late.
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  #523  
Old 01-20-2018, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Mbruno View Post
Opinion polls show that support for the monarchy is still fairly high nationwide in Spain (around 60 %) and Felipe personally gets close to a 70 % approval rating in some polls. I suppose that the "few Spaniards and long-term residents" you know may be a biased sample then.
The poll I saw with numbers that high for Felipe himself was taken soon after his speech on Catalonia. It was presented as good news because the approval numbers were the highest since the 90s. Another way of looking at the numbers would be that Felipe and the monarchy - after what will surely be one of the most dramatic and “kingly” moments of his reign, for the first time managed to get numbers on par with what Juan Carlos and the former royal family used to see routinely. If we’re thinking of the same polls the numbers were also very high among the elderly, but what I would consider as concerningly low among young people, (and “young” in this case was 18-35). And I think we all know what the numbers would look like if a poll were to be taken on the issue of the monarchy in general and Felipe in particular in Catalonia. So there are significant demographic pockets of the population where an unfavourable opinion of the King or the monarchy wouldn’t make you an outlier. Add in Letizia, who seems to be much more personally polarizing and I don’t think an unfavourable opinion would make you rare among any segment of the population.

It will be interesting to see how the numbers settle out over the next few years as Felipe is no longer seen as the new King and the Catalonia issue drags on. But if I was employed as a strategist for the royal house I’d be keeping an eye on the 18-35s. I would accept that he/the monarchy has lost Catalonia for the foreseeable future, probably for good.
  #524  
Old 01-20-2018, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Mbruno View Post
Opinion polls show that support for the monarchy is still fairly high nationwide in Spain (around 60 %) and Felipe personally gets close to a 70 % approval rating in some polls. I suppose that the "few Spaniards and long-term residents" you know may be a biased sample then.
That's good to hear! Glad that the support is still there. I'd rather see Spain stay a monarchy but some paint a very dark picture and if that picture was representative the monarchy is in troubled water.

Selection bias is always an issue (also in most polls BTW, but I expect them to be more representative than the select group of Madrileños I personally know). It seems that Felipe is viewed more positively since he became king - he has a clear strategy that he follows. In my biased sample Letizia was typically the one they had most doubts about/issues with, the concern regarding Felipe was mainly that Felipe was overruled by her.

For his personal approval ratings it might help that he is compared to less appreciatedd family members.
  #525  
Old 01-20-2018, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by carlota View Post
so you are saying that cristina (an infanta of spain who was the first spanish royal woman to obtain a university degree, who went to some of the best universities in the world, had access to a lifetime around high-profile figures discussing politics and economics) is not financially knowledgeable, yet her husband (a sportsman with no formal university degree) is? i am sorry, but i don't buy that. cristina is equally financially sophisticated, if not more so, than inaki.
I actually don’t think Inaki was especially financially sophisticated either and it’s always amazed me that Juan Carlos sent him on his way to earn a living in the way he did knowing this. Although I think Inaki at least completed a business course after he finished his athletic career? Again, Inaki isn’t the first son in law to be set up in business by a powerful father in law despite not being a financial genius.

Unless you choose a very specific concentration a degree in Political Science and/or International Relations is not going to give you any knowledge of the sort of business Inaki had. Even a degree in Economics wouldn’t necessarily overlap much with Finance/Business Studies unless you picked a particular concentration. I think the extent of Cristina’s financial knowledge would have been how to manage the day to day expenses for her family.
  #526  
Old 01-20-2018, 03:26 PM
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When Felipe got to the throne, he's thought of positively by over 60% of the population. The older people liked him because they watched him grow up. People of his generation feels he's more modern and well educated (meritocracy). His popularity reached well above 70% (even 80+% in one poll) after the 1st year mostly based on the reforms he implemented in the royal household and his representation of Spain abroad. After that, main polls focused on politicians and stopped including Felipe or the monarchy because the monarchy is no longer considered an issue in Spain.

Felipe has gained considerable stature after Oct 3 speech in the rest of Spain. Many proclaimed republicans are stating in Spanish/Catalan media site that they had become "Felipista". It's not accurate to say he lost Catalonia either. Unionists in Catalonia liked his speech because he gave them a voice. Of course, the separatists disliked it. But the separatists had been disrespecting him for years. They had rejected the monarchy long ago so he didn't "lose" them with the speech.

Not many Spaniards of Felipe's generation or younger would admit to be monarchists. Spanish monarchy is now based on meritocracy and usefulness. Felipe gets points for both. We'll see whether Leonor will reign. For all intent and purpose, anyone below little Sofia can forget about it, especially anyone named Urdangarin.
  #527  
Old 01-20-2018, 03:54 PM
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Several other things:

Felipe distanced himself along with Letizia years before the scandal broke. They didn't make an announcement. They acted naturally in public. It's Cristina's icy stares and scowling face in public with them that triggered all rumors. Of course, most speculated that it's Letizia not getting along with her. Cristina is a born-royal so most gossipy press and royal watchers blamed Letizia for the distance. After the scandal broke, some stories came out that said Felipe had a argument with Inaki when Inaki asked him for financial help right after I&C bought the Barcelona mansion that cost 7 million euros. Felipe asked him why they bought such an expensive house if they couldn't afford it. Felipe and Letizia distanced themselves afterward. That distance was the main reason why his popularity remained high whereas his father's took a nosedive.

BTW, JC gave Cristina a million euro for purchasing a house. But C&I were not satisfied with a modest house. They went out and bought a mansion. That mansion and its price tag raised quite a few eyebrows in the media. Everyone asked the same question: "Where did they get the money?" That mansion was the beginning of their downfall.

Cristina wanted to save face because "resignation" sounded more dignified than being stripped of the title. It's just like resignation sounds better than being fired. It's the same.
  #528  
Old 01-20-2018, 06:31 PM
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Yes, Cristina wanted to save face but I don't think she succeeded...

I'd say the icy relationships came from both parties. Elena and Cristina clearly weren't too happy about Letizia. Felipe's friends weren't too happy about her either but Felipe himself clearly is! In the earlier years of his marriage relationships seemed indeed to be better but the first signs showed quite early.

I am not sure that the distancing was because of what later became known as the NOOS scandal and whether it was instigated by Letizia or Felipe already being concerned about his future role. Nowadays, he doesn't seem to actively spend time with Cristina in private but he doesn't avoid her either (both attended the Greek birthday party) unlike Letizia. Sophia might have suffered most because of all of it; Juan Carlos doesn't come across as a family man - he seemed to prefer his rich friends and female companions - so probably less bothered about it regarding family relationships but he must have worried about the impact on the monarchy; although he wasn't scandal-free either.

(However, this is probably more appropriate in a family relationship topic)
  #529  
Old 01-20-2018, 07:14 PM
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i believe letizia also attended the greek birthday party with felipe, which cristina attended. she just wasn't pictured.
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  #530  
Old 01-21-2018, 12:50 AM
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All the reports said Letizia didn't attend the Greek party. She's never too fond of the Greek bunch, especially MC and her celebrity-wannabe kids. She stayed home with the girls. That party was embarrassingly decadent. Good for her not to show up.
  #531  
Old 01-21-2018, 02:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camelot23ca View Post
If Juan Carlos helped Inaki facilitate deals or was even peripherally involved with helping his son in law and yet didn’t know the details of his business then he is a first rate fool. And, whatever else Juan carlos might be, he’s no fool. Cristina I can actually easily believe did not know that Inaki was doing anything illegal - she was well educated and likely intelligent enough, but a woman of her time, place and social station would not necessarily have been raised to be financially knowledgeable, let alone financially sophisticated, the expectation being she either marry someone who could handle the money or Dad would set her husband up AND THEN keep an eye on things. It’s not an uncommon scenario and it’s one in which things are more nuanced than everyone being responsible for his own actions because, while the nominal businessman may be the son in law, everyone dealing with him knows who the boss actually is. While not excusing Inaki in any way, it’s difficult to envision a set of circumstances where he could have taken the actions that led to the Noos case without the knowledge and at least tacit approval of his father in law.

Juan Carlos may have been busy as King, (although I think the lack of spare time both he and his son have is exaggerated - Juan Carlos certainly found time for all sorts of extracurricular activities), but, with the knowledge and resources to which he had access, it wouldn’t have taken much time for him to be kept apprised of what was going on with Inaki’s business. And I believe he was.

In terms of the picture, yes, let’s agree to disagree. :) It will be interesting to see how the family situation plays out.

How was it possible for JC to know that Inaki's Noos didn't do business honestly, instead used false invoices to cheat customers ? Unlucky for him, some of those customers were public institutions. At the end JC did find out, he sent him to Washington DC, forced him to close Noos, but it was already too late.
Cristina might not know Noos's daily operation and fraud business just as JC at the beginning, but even after Inaki went to Washington, she continued using Noos' credit card for family expense, she was indicted on charges of tax fraud and money laundering.
  #532  
Old 01-21-2018, 02:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highpriestess View Post
Felipe asked him why they bought such an expensive house if they couldn't afford it. Felipe and Letizia distanced themselves afterward. That distance was the main reason why his popularity remained high whereas his father's took a nosedive.
IMO Inaki had little to do with JC's popularity taking a nosedive, this was pinned on the whole SRF, especially on Cristina. The main blow came for JC when he went to Botswana with his girlfriend to shoot an elephant.

At some point Felipe had to distance himself, to save his throne and his public image, I don't believe he was any different from the rest of the family behind closed doors.
  #533  
Old 01-21-2018, 03:06 AM
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Originally Posted by donnaK View Post
How was it possible for JC to know that Inaki's Noos didn't do business honestly, instead used false invoices to cheat customers ? Unlucky for him, some of those customers were public institutions. At the end JC did find out, he sent him to Washington DC, forced him to close Noos, but it was already too late.
Cristina might not know Noos's daily operation and fraud business just as JC at the beginning, but even after Inaki went to Washington, she continued using Noos' credit card for family expense, she was indicted on charges of tax fraud and money laundering.
How difficult can it be when somebody like Inaki is all of a sudden making millions out of public money? Where was it coming from? JC was King, you look into company records and if things don't add up, you send an auditor in to check to protect the royal house, we are talking about several years, not weeks or months.

He could have shut it down before it began, if you hear as King that your SIL is dealing with public money, all red lights must have switched on at once, it's bound to go wrong.
  #534  
Old 01-21-2018, 03:31 AM
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Glad that she took her marriage vows more seriously than her title. In that way she is a far better example than her father who didn't take his vows seriously at all.

Still, I don't see why she had to do so when she was imputed instead of after conviction.

I don't understand what you think the outcome would have been had Cristina renounced her title a little earlier compared to what it is right now, would you mind elaborating?
Cristina is not a normal citizen, 'she was only imputed, not convicted' doesn't apply to a royal infanta. In the eyes of most Spaniards, the country granted her birth privileges in exchange for a simple task – leading an exemplary life. When she failed to behave properly, she would have to renounce her title.
The voice of asking her to renounce her title was very loud at that time. Had she renounced her title earlier, it would have shown some humanity and regretness, ease pressure on her father who had been seen doing nothing other than protecting his daughter at that time. Even some of JC's vivid supporters called him to revoke her title, said JC was acting more of a father than a King.
  #535  
Old 01-21-2018, 03:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Duke of Marmalade View Post
How difficult can it be when somebody like Inaki is all of a sudden making millions out of public money? Where was it coming from? JC was King, you look into company records and if things don't add up, you send an auditor in to check to protect the royal house, we are talking about several years, not weeks or months.

He could have shut it down before it began, if you hear as King that your SIL is dealing with public money, all red lights must have switched on at once, it's bound to go wrong.
But those millions of public money were made during a few years, maybe it didn't catch JC's attention immediately. But he did find out eventually. He sent his private attorney to audit Noos and found irregularities in Noos, then he sent Inaki to Washington DC.
JC's mistake is that he should never have allowed his family member doing business to begin with. If Inaki insisted on doing business, Cristina would have to renounce her title or leave him. I think this would apply to little Sofia in the future if monarchy is still there.
  #536  
Old 01-21-2018, 04:04 AM
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But those millions of public money were made during a few years, maybe it didn't catch JC's attention immediately. But he did find out eventually. He sent his private attorney to audit Noos and found irregularities in Noos, then he sent Inaki to Washington DC.
JC's mistake is that he should never have allowed his family member doing business to begin with. If Inaki insisted on doing business, Cristina would have to renounce her title or leave him. I think this would apply to little Sofia in the future if monarchy is still there.
Here we agree, while doing business may be ok, doing business involving public money is a no-no to begin with, so the mistake had been made very early on. I guess there will be a lot of scrutiny on Sofia jr in this respect, every self employed husband will have a hard time (ask Chris O Neill, even as private citizen), and those jobs where in-laws are employed for a ridiculous amount of money are done. The dilemma remains that average jobs don't pay for the lifestyle of an Infanta, in case Sofia falls in love with a baker or butcher.
  #537  
Old 01-21-2018, 04:29 AM
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Originally Posted by lula View Post
Actually 25.000 € is the amount that Elena received in the last year of her father's reign when she already had very few public events, and when for the first time the House of the King detailed the accounts. According to the declaration of Cristina's income presented at the trial, when she and her sister were fully part of House of the King and had more activities, they received 70.000 € a year.

Now neither of them is part of the Royal Family, and therefore they do not receive money. But they still have protection from the State Security Forces and all the protocol privileges of being infantas of Spain.
By my understanding that was no income from the State but an allowance from the King's income plus reimbursements of costs made for the execution of the royal dignity.

Of course the King's income is from the taxpayers. But like every Spaniard one is free in the spending of the own income. He could have gone to Ansorena and buy a 75.000 Euro diamond bracelet for his spouse. He can also use that amount to support his three children or his sisters, or his Greek sister-in-law who has to live somewhere without an income.

That is not the same as "living on the expenses of the Spanish taxpayer" otherwise we can say the same about that surgeon in a Spanish state hospital buying an appartment for his daughter or about that Guardia Civil officer who pays for his son's driving license lessons and his first car.

Ultimately all is "paid by the Spanish taxpayer".
No any Infanta has received an income from the Spanish State. That their father was so nice to fund them, whether it came partly from his annual income or from his personal assets, does not count as "paid by the taxpayers". The taxpayers have paid the King. And what he uses with it: buying a Lamborghini or supporting his daughters, is in essence his freedom.
  #538  
Old 01-21-2018, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by donnaK View Post
[...]
JC's mistake is that he should never have allowed his family member doing business to begin with. [...].
Europe is full of royals and nobles actually doing business, or having own companies, or working for thirds, to obtain an income. The days are gone that peasants and serfs were exploited for the lifestyle of "their better ones".

The Archduke Lorenz of Austria-Este (brother-in-law to the Belgian King) works in the banking sector. Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands (brother of the King) is CEO of Start-Up Delta, bundling digital innovations and e-economics, Prince Louis of Luxembourg exploits a wine château in France, the late brother of the Dutch King (Prince Friso) even was a founder-shareholder of a succesful commercial airline company in the East of Europe.

There is no any possibility that the King can "forbid" anything. Iñaki Urdangarín is not a serf or slave to the King's pleasure.
  #539  
Old 01-21-2018, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by donnaK View Post
Cristina is not a normal citizen, 'she was only imputed, not convicted' doesn't apply to a royal infanta. In the eyes of most Spaniards, the country granted her birth privileges in exchange for a simple task – leading an exemplary life. When she failed to behave properly, she would have to renounce her title.
The voice of asking her to renounce her title was very loud at that time. Had she renounced her title earlier, it would have shown some humanity and regretness, ease pressure on her father who had been seen doing nothing other than protecting his daughter at that time. Even some of JC's vivid supporters called him to revoke her title, said JC was acting more of a father than a King.
The thing that I don't get is that she didn't renounce her place in the line of succession, which is her actual "birth privilege", and nobody, either in the government or in the Royal House, told her to do so. Stripping her of a courtesy ducal title is a meaningless move IMHO if she continues to be an HRH.

On the issue of her "standing by her vows", it is not up to me to tell Christina to have a divorce, but I find it extremely odd that a woman whose defense was based on the argument that she was deceived by her husband into doing illegal acts without knowing it would not consider divorcing that said husband. So, either Cristina genuinely believes that Iñaki is innocent (and everything was just a setup), or she lied to the courts about her own "ignorance" of the matters she was charged with.
  #540  
Old 01-21-2018, 01:41 PM
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We can believe whatever we believe. Spain was in a sever economic crisis when the scandal broke. A royal and her husband were exposed as defrauding taxpayers' money and evading taxes while regular folks were struggling financially. It's a god-sent for the republicans. They couldn't create resentment toward monarchy better than C&I did.

Adding insult to injury, JC used all his influence to save Cristina behind the scene even though he publicly declared that justice was equal to all. When do you see a prosecutor argue FOR a accused? He's called a hypocrite. C&I didn't help the matter. Inaki kept insisting that all his business activities were "sactioned" by JC and hence, dragged the entire monarchy in the mud along with him. Cristina kept trying to show she's supported by her parents. Both tried to save themselves with not a care of the significant consequences to the institution.

Botswana just made the resentment toward JC personal but Noos scandal was the one that did the real damage to the monarchy. Anyone who doesn't think Queen Sofia is tune-deaf should look at the photo of her with C&I in Washington DC right after the Noos scandal broke.
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