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FACTBOX-Spain's monarchy, beset by scandal, is funded by taxpayers

Spain's Royal House, in the spotlight this week after former king Juan Carlos decided to leave Spain under a cloud of financial scandal, is a publicly-funded institution created to support the king as the head of state and his family.

Reuters | Madrid | Updated: 04-08-2020 20:19 IST | Created: 04-08-2020 20:01 IST
FACTBOX-Spain's monarchy, beset by scandal, is funded by taxpayers
Representative image Image Credit: Wikimedia

Spain's Royal House, in the spotlight this week after former king Juan Carlos decided to leave Spain under a cloud of financial scandal, is a publicly-funded institution created to support the king as the head of state and his family. Spanish and Swiss prosecutors are looking into allegations of offshore accounts and of bribes linked to a high-speed rail contract, although Juan Carlos is not formally under investigation in either country.

He has declined to comment on the corruption allegations, which he said concerned his private life. Following are some details on the royal family's finances, according to information provided by the executive office of the king on its website (www.casareal.es), and the Spanish government:

- Under the Spanish Constitution, the annual state budget includes an article that sets the funding for the House of His Majesty the King, which is the official name of the royal household, as proposed by the government. The sum provided to the royal family and the household is meant to be "sufficient for the head of state to work with the independence inherent to his constitutional functions".

- The overall royal household budget has come down over the past decade by about 6% to around 7.9 million euros ($9.29 million) and has remained steady for the past two years as Spain had to roll over previous years' state budgets. The king decides how to distribute the annual budget.

King Felipe was paid a salary of around 248,000 euros in 2019, while Queen Letizia earned close to 137,000. Felipe's father and mother - the former king and queen - were paid around 310,000 euros in total, bringing the overall salaries for the four of them to around 696,000 euros in 2019.

King Felipe's decision in March to put an end to his father's palace allowance, worth 198,845 euros, added to the institution's small surplus, running at below 1 million euros. - The royal house spends a total of over 3.8 million euros on personnel and 2.7 million euros on goods and services. The royal budget also earmarks investments worth 1.3 million euros.

- The Royal Family uses various palaces, including western Europe's largest palace in Madrid, and residences across the country, which are state-owned and administered by the National Heritage public body. - Asked on Tuesday how the former king would pay his bills from now on, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez declined to comment.

($1 = 0.8503 euros)


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