THE former King of Spain Juan Carlos I has made an official payment of €678,393 to tax authorities in an effort to avoid further court cases.
According to a press release revealed yesterday, the emeritus king made the payment to settle the debt on tax irregularities on an undisclosed amount.
Lawyers representing Juan Carlos are hoping that the six-figure amount will convince the Hacienda (Tax Agency) that his finances are now in order, and drop the two remaining charges held against him.
The 82-year-old is currently under investigation for vast amounts of commissions for facilitating a contract to a Spanish consortium to build a high speed rail link in Saudi Arabia.
He is also being scrutinised for links to holding millions of euros in overseas companies located in tax havens.
It is expected that the first case will be dropped as when the dealings were made, Juan Carlos was still in power therefore enjoyed diplomatic immunity.
However the second case, plus the receipt of a €65 million ‘gift’ from the King of Saudi Arabia Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, remains much more complicated.
Current King of Spain Felipe VI has publically denounced his father for his scandals, and in March this year, stripped the former monarch of his annual salary of €161,000.
Critics of the payment are calling it a ‘buy-off’ and urged the tax office to look beyond the payment and continue to dig into the allegations.
“Juan Carlos’s voluntary filing reflects the fact that he has been concealing money of questionable origin,” said Edmundo Bal, of the Ciudadanos party.
“It is morally reprehensible. He did Spain a great service for many years, and our democracy owes him a lot, but this behavior is disappointing.”