The Spanish Royals Under Siege: The Toxic Legacy of the Urdangarin Affair

Does corruption lin the the path between Iñaki Urdangarin and the Spanish Royal Family?

Does corruption lin the the path between Iñaki Urdangarin and the Spanish Royal Family?

One of the institutions that became a symbol of the stability of the Spanish Constitutional Regime was the Monarchy, institutionalized since 1978. King Juan Carlos, son of Don Juan de Borbon, Earl of Barcelona, became the head of State, and an icon of the Unity of the Motherland. In fact, after several years, when both political parties: PP and PSOE, engulfed themselves into a tremendous trail of corruption, the Monarchy was apparently left untouched and later becoming the most valued institution in Spain according . However, when a tremendous money laundering and tax fraud scandal broke out on all the major newspaper headlines all over the country, that equilibrium was brutally shattered. Nowadays, despite that Iñaki Urdangarin and Cristina de Borbon appear to be the only guilty ones in this whole affair, there are many doubts that still need further clarification. Iñaki Urdangarin, as we will see, is just the tip of the iceberg, of an organized machinery.

The Urdangarin scandal started to flourish when Judge Jose Castro opened new research on the Palma Arena scandal, regarding the agreements, signed in 2005 and 2006, between the Foundation Illesport, the Institut Balear de Turismo (Branches of the Local Government of Baleares Islands ), and the Noos Institute chaired by Iñaki Urdangarin. However, the Anti-Corruption attorney Pedro Horrach started to make progress in his investigation leading him ti the offices of Noos in Barcelona. The Judicial Police found documents involving the Regional Government of Valencia, making further implications that political heavyweights of the PP where involved in Mariano Rajoy´s “private circle”. Iñaki Urdangarin was soon became a suspect after his indictment on the 29 of December of 2011, for tax evasion, tax fraud, prevarication, falsification of documents, as well as public funds deviation. Aizoon, a real estate agency, chaired by Cristina de Borbon, daughter of the then King Juan Carlos I, was one of the major pieces involved in this scandal. She received quantities of 749,505,61 Euros, 456,381 Euros, and 853, 103,40 Euros on behalf of three companies: Virtual Strategies, Shiriaimasu, and Intuit Strategy, between 2004, and 2007. Apart from that, Urdangarin, along with Diego Torres, and Cristina, developed a web of shell companies and NGOs, dedicated to fight for the cure of cancer, send aid to children in the Third World, and other charity work. In fact these shell NGO’s were nothing more than a massive scam dedicated to generate profits for a small group of individuals.

Corrupt to the core? Juan Carlos stepped down to make way for his son, King Philip VI, to become the new King of Spain in 2014

Corrupt to the core? Juan Carlos stepped down to make way for his son, King Philip VI, to become the new King of Spain in 2014

However, there is more! There are three massive groups implicated: (1) the PP´s highest ranks, including the current Spanish President Mariano Rajoy; (2) the circle around Juan Carlos and the actual Royals (King Philip VI and Queen Letizia); (3) and the Secret Services. Diego Torres, teacher at the business School ESADE, has repeatedly declared that all the work carried out at Noos was supervised and approved by the Royal Family. In addition to that, all the workers at Noos were checked by the CNI, the Spanish Secret Service. Furthermore, one of the ascending stars, Esteban Gonzalez Pons of Valencia, was swiftly moved aside when Rajoy came to power because of his involvement in Noos affairs. In addition to that, a major event took place that illustrates perfectly the level of corruption that is affecting Spain nowadays. A secret meeting at the Royal Palace of La Zarzuela in Madrid, involving President Rajoy, King Juan Carlos I, the general attorney Eduardo Torres Dulce, and the minister of Justice Alberto Ruiz Gallardon. It is believed that they were discussing ways to save Iñaki Urdangarin and Cristina de Borbon from going to jail. This was described and documented by the journalists Eduardo Inda and Esteban Urreiztieta in: Urdangarin: Un conseguidor en la Cort and Urdangarin: Un conseguidor e, and La Intocable. The whole Noos scheme might be seen as a way to deviate funds obtained from companies and illegal businesses to bankroll the State.

As I mentioned before, Urdangarin is not the tip of the iceberg. Attorney Antonio Garcia Trevijano, one of the most informed personalities in Spain regarding the royal family, is adamant when it comes to the Royal Family: ‘ The King Juan Carlos I has a personal fortune of more than 2 billion dollars.’ This whole affair started with King Juan Carlos, he received backhanders from the Arab Sheikhs and Monarchs in the Gulf, from the oil imports Spain was going to sanction. This is well documented in the book, El negocio de la Libertad, written by the Journalist Jesus Cacho Garcia. According to some sources, Urdangarin was pressured by King Juan Carlos to get involved in the murky issues to obtain a ‘decent living’ for his wife, replicating: ‘ How dare you to put my daughter on a 300 square metres flat , when she has lived all her life in a Palace!’. Urdangarin and Prince Philip had an argument because apparently he had become to involved in the Noos affair. However, information appears to show that published in some media that Prince Philip was also a recipient of dirty money. Maybe, Prince Philip has something to lose? Maybe his involvement in the Noos affair goes much deeper? Could he have lost his Crown? Only time will tell, but the scandals regarding the Royals don´t end there. The sad fact is, the Monarchy is built on the heritage of the oligarchy, and it should be abolished immediately.

By Daniel Gonzalez, Junior Writer for Daily Political View.

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