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King's accounts to be published under new law

Source: El Pais - Thu 25th Apr 2013
King's accounts to be published under new law

For the first time in history, Spaniards will be able to see exactly how King Juan Carlos and the royal family spend the public money that is allotted to the monarchy.

Once the proposed Transparency Law goes into effect, every detail of Zarzuela Palace expenditure will be broken down and posted on the royal family's website, sources who are negotiating the deal between the royal family and the government told EL PAÍS on Tuesday.

In 2007, the king appointed a public auditor to monitor spending. Three years later, the monarch agreed to post on the Zarzuela website a general breakdown of the amount of money - €7.9 million this year - Congress assigns his family. But once the new law is passed, Spaniards will see an item-by-item breakdown of royal spending, including the amounts paid for outside contracts, the palace's heating bills and the cost of banquets.

The king and the rest of the royal family have come under intense scrutiny following a string of recent scandals that have included the monarch's controversial elephant hunting trip to Botswana, where he fell and broke his hip. The family also finds itself enmeshed in the ongoing fraud investigation by a Balearic judge into the king's son-in-law, Iñaki Urdangarin.

Princess Cristina, Urdangarin's wife, has also been dragged into the inquiry with allegations coming from her husband's former business partner Diego Torres that she knew of the financial irregularities that allegedly took place at their non-profit Nóos Institute.

In the latest emails that Torres - who is also a defendant - has turned over to the judge are messages from Urdangarin that purportedly show how he used the king's support to try to win business in Mexico.

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