Spain's grave public health situation due to the coronavirus pandemic, partly amplified by the negligence of the Pedro Sánchez government in failing to take drastic measures as was requested from the beginning, for example, by Catalonia, should not obscure what, undoubtedly, is news of international concern which puts the Spanish monarchy in very serious jeopardy. The king Felipe VI has acknowledged through a statement by the royal house that he has been aware, for at least a year, of his father's offshore accounts abroad, a corrupt fortune built up with total impunity and of which his son and heir was to become the recipient.
As for the window dressing added in king Felipe's press statement stressing that, firstly, he was to relinquish this inheritance - he is left needing to explain how, since the Spanish penal code makes it impossible to waive a future inheritance (articles 816 and 991) - and that, as well, his father, Juan Carlos I, was to stop receiving his royal stipend from the Spanish government budget, that is, shall we say, the sympathetic part of a news story that holds up in full view of all Spaniards the corruption that has been part of the running of the state for decades.
If Spaniards were not in their currently-understandable state of shock due to the unstoppable advance of coronavirus and the lockdown of the population, the moral degradation that the Spanish monarchy had entered into would blow it to pieces. The same would happen if the cowardly representatives of the parties of the regime - PSOE, PP, Cs and now Vox - simply did their job in the Congress of Deputies instead of opposing the creation of investigative commissions which had been called for by the Catalan and Basque pro-independence parties and, in this case, by Podemos as well.
Felipe VI is trying to dump some ballast now that the international press - that of Switzerland and the UK, essentially - has given sufficient signs that it will not easily let go of the matter and is set on continuing with further bombshells in the coming days. The scandalous silence of the Spanish establishment press, both in Madrid and in Barcelona, has been of little use, as the digital press has more than compensated for the old guard media's dedication to camouflaging the news in its print editions.
The opacity has no longer been enough and the Spanish monarchy has thrown away a good part of what little credit it had left in Spanish society with a statement that makes one's hair stand on end. We are not talking about elephants in Botswana, or the continuing episodes from Juan Carlos I's private life. Not something that can be covered up with a public apology. We are talking about how a fortune has been accumulated through alleged illegal commissions, an issue which requires the intervention of justice and the opening up of a matter that has been an open secret for many years, and which has not been tackled in order to safeguard the institution. In 2014, the then-king Juan Carlos's abdication was forced; now, the situation affects the whole family, including the current monarch, Felipe VI, who only reacted once the news was broken and not when he became aware of it. A more than significant detail.