This Wednesday marked two years since the sudden exit from Spain of the king emeritus, pursued by numerous cases of economic corruption and which ended with his irreversible flight to the United Arab Emirates. Today, Juan Carlos I is in Abu Dhabi enjoying all kinds of luxuries, but he has lost the recognition of the major business leaders and the respect of the people. In these 24 months he has only travelled to Spain on one occasion, when he spent a long weekend in Galicia, met his son Felipe for a few hours in what used to be his Zarzuela residence and later had lunch at the palace itself with the family.
In these 24 months, the public prosecutor's office, the tax agency and the courts have taken it upon themselves to close the cases that were open in order to clean up the judicial file: in one case, paying a massive fine; in another, slowing down the investigation long enough for the statute of limitations to apply; and, in the third, making a peculiar reading of the inviolability that the monarch was protected by before June 19th, 2014 and, de facto, extending this situation beyond his abdication.
It has been a shameful path on which Spain's regime of 1978 has worked diligently, without any fissures, and, unfortunately, also without any significant difference between Pedro Sánchez's PSOE and the People's Party, Vox or the tiny party of Ciudadanos. Today, Felipe VI reigns, but his role does not have the importance that his father enjoyed at the end of last century, when no-one knew about the current accounts in tax havens, the commissions collected from the Persian Gulf emirates and the relationship with princess Corinna, with respect to whom Juan Carlos is still involved in the only court case that is still open, in London, the result of a lawsuit filed by his former lover.
As a result of these vicissitudes, the monarchy no longer reaches a majority approval rating in the only minimally-reliable opinion polls that are published, and the public CIS agency stopped asking respondents about the head of state years ago. In Catalonia, this situation is particularly serious, because in addition to the royal family's corruption is added the extremely hostile role played by Felipe VI during the autumn of 2017, with his speech on October 3rd that year and his break with Catalan society and all the institutions of self-government. If we look at the future of the monarchical institution from the point of view of today's situation, it doesn't appear that the degradation it is currently suffering can be turned around.
As Juan Carlos I's stay in Abu Dhabi lengthens, it will become clear that the hasty departure responded to only one reason - that being, corruption - and that his son believes that the only way to keep the monarchy afloat is keep his father far away. At least, while he is abroad, the accusations made by those in all walks of life target only the emeritus.