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News > Spain

King Juan Carlos I Flees to the Caribbean to Evade Justice

  • Spain's King Juan Carlos I.

    Spain's King Juan Carlos I. | Photo: Twitter/ @laradiodelsur

Published 4 August 2020

His escape revitalizes the debate on the contemporary legitimacy of monarchical institutions.

King Juan Carlos I Tuesday arrived in the Dominican Republic after abandoning Spain amid a judicial investigation into possible illegal financial operations.


King Juan Carlos to Leave Spain Amid Financial Scandal

The member of the royal house left Spain amid a trial in which authorities inquire about the commissions that Saudi Arabia's King gave Juan Carlos I during the construction of a high-speed train.

The King's decision to escape his country has revitalized international debate on the legitimacy of monarchical institutions.

"His escape doesn't leave a good legacy for his son, Philip VI. The monarchical institution is being strongly questioned and the State's leaders are not prepared to face the situation," political journalist Juan Carlos Monedero commented. 

Other scandals preceded the King's recent escape to the Caribbean island. During the 2007 Ibero-American Summit, for example, Juan Carlos I yelled at Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, "Why don't you shut up?"

Because of the criticism Spain received after this offense against the Bolivarian leader, he preferred to avoid the looks and left the plenary.

In 2012, while his country was going through a severe economic crisis, the King broke his hip after stumbling on a luxury elephant hunt in Botswana. After five days of hospitalization, he was forced to apologize for not being an exemplary leader in those difficult times.

"I'm very sorry, I made a mistake and it won't happen again," he said.

The trip to kill elephants cost over 40,000 euros and was paid for by an advisor to the Saudi royal family. During that adventure, Juan Carlos I was also accompanied by his ex-lover Corinna Larsen.

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