Ever since Spain's former king Juan Carlos I managed to shake off the corruption investigation pursuing him from Swiss justice, after the prosecutor concluded that he did not have enough evidence to prosecute, the former Spanish head of state has been pressuring to be able to come home. His return, after fleeing from Spain in 2020 when the heat of his irregular financial affairs seemed about to boil over, is a prospect which makes people nervous in several different sectors. Without going any further, the Zarzuela royal palace itself has been reticent on the subject.
Despite the long list of scandals he has accumulated, the king emeritus would like to return to Spain under his own conditions, but his son, Felipe VI, does not see it so clearly. Now, after a long and tough negotiation, the former monarch may have obtained the approval to return, but without his own demands being met, according to the Spanish digital newspaper El Espanol.
The homecoming would be in February, sufficiently distant from one of the most important commitments for Felipe VI: his Christmas speech. "They don't want anyone waiting to see if Felipe VI says anything about his father's return or not. We need to focus on what needs to be focused on, and with all that's happening right now, it's not time to talk of the father," said a source close to the royal house.
Nor will he able to celebrate his 84th birthday in Spanish territory as he would have liked to - since his birthday coincides with the Military Passover, on January 6th - and Felipe does not want any distractions in what will be his first official event for 2022.
Juan Carlos I is not happy with the deal his son is offering him. The former monarch has made it clear to his close circles that he believes he is not being treated properly. On the other hand, the position of the palace is very different: "At the Zarzuela they believe that the situation today is not, contrary to what Juan Carlos thinks, better than it was the day his plane took off for the United Arab Emirates. The problem is still present: how to prevent his presence from affecting and tarnishing the perception of the institution that his son now embodies."
Rafa Nadal false alarm
While these differences of perspective are being worked through in order to enable the emeritus to return, there has been a false alarm. Juan Carlos has tested negative in a PCR test carried out after it was known that he was a close contact of a confirmed Covid case: Rafael Nadal. The former king was in the company of the infected tennis player at a restaurant table in Abu Dhabi. The Zarzuela had previously reported that the monarch was "well" but that the royal nasal cavities would be subjected to a coronavirus swab.
Nadal announced on Monday that he had tested positive for Covid in the PCR that was required of him on returning to Spain after participating in the Abu Dhabi trophy, where he was seen with the Bourbon on Friday.