One of the eternal obstacles has been overcome, but now it turns out that the real barrier was the other one. That is, despite the thumbs-up from Spain's parliamentary legal advisors for a commission of inquiry into the affairs of former king Juan Carlos I, sources within the governing Socialist (PSOE) party confirm that, as before, its members will again oppose the creation of a commission during this Wednesday's meeting of the Spanish lower house's Bureau. Thus, the proposition will not advance to the house, thanks to the votes against of the PSOE, the opposition Popular Party (PP) and far-right Vox, the third largest party in the Congress of Deputies. The Socialists had until now clung to the criterion given by the legal advisors. Now they no longer have that excuse, but they have found others.
The Socialist group argues that it will vote against the latest proposal for the activities of the king emeritus to be examined in parliament because the Congress of Deputies has delimited functions, and carrying out audits on the head of state is not among these, as the Constitutional Court has repeatedly assured. In addition, they recall, the issue has been "judicialized".
Until now, the lawyers in the Spanish lower house had repeatedly opposed requests for a commission of inquiry into the monarchy, on the grounds of the constitutional inviolability which protects the monarch during his reign. However, the new commission proposal is based on the use of financially-opaque credit cards by the royal family, which the king emeritus used after his abdication. This initiative does not call for an investigation into the royal palace, but rather, of these opaque cards. In the face of this approach, the legal services have not objected.
This new petition was presented in December, before Christmas, by seven parties - Unidas Podemos, ERC, the CUP, EH Bildu, the BNG, Més País and Compromís. So far, all the previous proposals to examine the affairs of Juan Carlos have been thrown out by the Bureau of Congress, by the same tripartite blockade: the PSOE, the PP and Vox. Podemos, fourth largest party in the house and junior partner in government, has always been left alone in the Bureau in its support of an inquiry. And the pattern will be unchanged tomorrow.
Podemos: "There are no excuses anymore"
The first to react today was, indeed, the left-wing party led by Pablo Iglesias, which on its official Twitter account celebrated the green light from the legal advisors. "There's no excuse anymore: either you're on the side of truth or you are supporting impunity," warned Podemos, saying that "all parties in the parliamentary arc should support [the proposal] for reasons of democratic hygiene."
Los letrados del Congreso recomiendan, por fin, admitir a trámite nuestra comisión de investigación sobre el rey.— PODEMOS (@PODEMOS) January 12, 2021
Ya no hay excusas: o se está con la verdad o se está con la impunidad.
Todos los partidos del arco parlamentario deberían apoyarla por higiene democrática.
"Finally, the congressional lawyers are recommending that our commission of inquiry into the king should be admitted. There are no excuses anymore: either you're on the side of truth or you are supporting impunity. All parties in parliament should support it for reasons of democratic hygiene."— PODEMOS
After it was revealed that Spanish public prosecutors were investigating the use of these cards, king emeritus Juan Carlos decided to submit a supplementary tax declaration on December 9th "without a prior request" to do so from the tax agency, in order to deposit some of the tax payment which he had defrauded. The total debt now paid is 678,393.72 euros. That is, the monarch who fled to the United Arab Emirates declared money that he had not declared to the Spanish tax authorities. He therefore implicitly admitted fraud, but via this action he may possibly avoid criminal investigations.