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Spain's King Felipe VI renounces his inheritance from his father

Posted March 17, 2020 10:08 a.m. EDT

— King Felipe VI of Spain has renounced his personal inheritance from his father, Juan Carlos I, amid allegations of financial impropriety.

Felipe also renounced his right to any shares, investments or financial vehicles that "may be inconsistent with the law or the standards of honesty and integrity which govern his institutional and private activities and should inform the activities of the crown," according to a statement from the royal household, released Sunday.

Juan Carlos abdicated in 2014 amid a raft of scandals, and Felipe pledged to improve transparency around the royal family, as Spain grew increasingly frustrated by its cost to the public purse during a financial crisis.

Sunday's statement is an attempt by Felipe to distance himself, and the institution, from reports in European media that the royal family had benefited from two financial funds linked to Juan Carlos.

In addition, former monarch Juan Carlos will no longer receive an annual grant payment from the royal family budget, according to the statement.

The royal household declined to comment further on the matter.

Juan Carlos ended his 39-year reign under a cloud, with accusations of corruption and excess plaguing the royal family.

For a long time, Spaniards held him in high regard for shepherding the country into democracy following the death of the dictator Francisco Franco.

But the king's popularity took a hit in 2012 over a controversial elephant-hunting trip to Africa while the nation was mired in a deep economic crisis.

He resigned from public life in June 2019 as a string of scandals took its toll.

Some Spaniards have called for the monarchy to be abandoned, favoring the establishment of a republic instead.

Carlos Sanchez Mato of the United Left party, which forms part of the Unidas Podemos group that currently rules Spain in coalition with the Socialist Party, tweeted that Felipe hadn't gone far enough in distancing himself from Juan Carlos.

"Felipe VI hasn't renounced his entire inheritance," he said, adding that Juan Carlos had left Felipe the title of head of state as well as "millions of euros in shady funds around the world."

Mato said Felipe should give up everything his father left him, and "do it as soon as possible."

However the far-right Vox party tweeted its support of the king and his announcement.

"If only every state institution showed the same exemplary conduct as His Majesty Felipe VI," said the party.

There has been increasing resentment in Spain over the cost of the royal family to the public, despite the monarchy's relatively austere reputation compared with other European royals.

Of the 10 main royal families in Europe, nine still receive public funding for carrying out their duties -- the only exception being the Princely House of Liechtenstein, which doesn't get any taxpayer money to cover its expenses.

Spain's royal family has the third-smallest budget of the 10, with tax payers paying $9 million a year.

This is far less than the $107 million given to the British monarchy, or the $54 million spent on Monaco's royal family.

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