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 thse 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
 Feb 20 2017 - Cold snap continues with frost formation overnightJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) Amman, Feb.19 (Petra) -- A slight rise in temperatures is expected on Sunday, but they remain 2-3 degrees below their seasonal average; therefore it will continue to be ...

 Feb 20 2017 - Israeli forces arrest 14 Palestinians in West BankJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) Ramallah, Feb. 19 (Petra)--Israeli occupation forces on Sunday, arrested 14 Palestinians from various West Bank cities. The Palestinian Prisoner Society said in a ...

 Feb 20 2017 - Jordan's ambassador to Kenya presents credentialsJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) Nairobi, Feb.19 (Petra) -- President of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, on Saturday received the credentials of Jordan's first resident Ambassador to the African ...

 Feb 20 2017 - Border Guards foil infiltration attemptJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) Amman, Feb. 19 (Petra)--Border Guards aborted an attempt by a number of Arab and foreign nationals to infiltrate the borders, according to an official source at the ...

 Feb 20 2017 - ASE opens on lower noteJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) Amman, Feb.19 (Petra) -- The Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) on Sunday opened trading with a drop to 2209 points compared to 2213 points of yesterday's session closure. ...

 Feb 20 2017 - 449 Palestinians arrive in Gaza Strip through Rafah border crossingJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) Gaza, Feb. 19 (Petra)--A total of 449 Palestinians arrived in the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing after the Egyptian authorities opened the crossing ...

 Feb 20 2017 - Extremist settlers storm Al-Aqsa mosque complexJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) Ramallah, Feb.19 (Petra) -- Groups of extremist Jewish settlers, early Sunday, stormed Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, according to a Palestinian ...

 Feb 20 2017 - 81 people injured in 103 accidentsJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) Amman, Feb. 19 (Petra) -- Eighty-one people were injured in 103 road and other accidents in the last 24 hours, according to the Civil Defence Department. It said ...

 Feb 20 2017 - Labour Minister, ALO chief discuss cooperationJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) Amman, Feb. 19 (Petra) -- Minister of Labour, Ali Ghazawi, and the Director-General of the Arab Labour Organization (ALO) , Fayez Al Mutairi, Sunday discussed ...

 Feb 20 2017 - Palestinian student critically wounded by Israeli troopsJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) Ramallah, Feb 19 (Petra) –– Israeli occupation forces on Sunday shot and critically wounded a Palestinian student when they fired rubber bullets outside a school near ...

more...


 





Google

 
 

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

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