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The ' Nóos case ', a scandal that put the monarchy in check

The cause sank the image of the royal family and opened a crisis in the institution that would not be overcome until the abdication of Juan Carlos I

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The ' Nóos case ', a scandal that put the monarchy in check

"Justice is same for all." The words of Juan Carlos I, in his Christmas Eve address of 2011, left no doubt; The head of state was not going to move a finger to try to protect his younger daughter and her son-in-law from ir problems with justice. The head of House of king, Rafael Spottorno, had already anticipated verdict of Zarzuela to cross conduct of Duke of Palma "little exemplary."

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Only month and a half before, on November 7th, a police commission led by anti-corruption prosecutor of Balearic Islands, Pedro Horrach, had broken into Barcelona headquarters of Instituto Nóos, a oretically non-profit foundation of which he was administrator Iñaki Urdangarin and on whose board of directors sat his wife, Infanta Cristina of Bourbon.

The registry was ordered by Judge José Castro, inside a separate and secret part of Palma Arena case, a thread in tangle of corruption woven by Balearic government of former minister of PP Jaume Matas.

The scandal did not surprise Don Juan Carlos. Alarmed by rumors about adventures of his son-in-law, king ordered in March 2006 to Urdangarin to end his business with public administrations. A Zarzuela advisor, José Manuel Romero, made emissary to lawyer of Dukes of Palma, Raimon Bergós, to urge m to liquidate ir tangle of societies.

Urdangarin resisted. "He did not understand why he could not have representative activities in a foundation," according to his lawyer. Formally, comply order and in June 2006 was disNóosd. In fact, he continued to act through his partner, Diego Torres. Only in 2009, when king got him a job at Telefónica and marriage moved to Washington, he dissociated himself completely.

With his Christmas Eve speech, Don Juan Carlos tried to prevent monarchy from being splashed by scandal. Futile endeavor. In 2011, CIS survey reflected first suspense to institution (4.89) in 36 years. In 2013, after first imputation of Infanta Cristina, it fell to 3.68. Far away were times when it was institution most valued by Spaniards (a 7.48 in 1995). "We are very aware of deterioration of public image of crown in recent years", y recognized in House of king.

Resigned to judicial machinery to continue its course and aware that case Nóos would pursue his son-in-law and his daughter for years, only possible strategy was to break ties with both. The estrangement began immediately. The last official act of Urdangarin was national holiday of 2011. For first time in 14 years, Infanta Cristina and her husband did not dine in Zarzuela that Christmas Eve.

In January 2012, Chief of House of King Fernando Almansa transmitted a message to Infanta Cristina on behalf of his far: eir he divorced or renounced his dynastic rights. He didn't do one thing or anor.

In National Festival of 2012, Zarzuela applied a new protocol: The Daughters of king would no longer be in main tribune, but in guest, and also in line of greeting of royal palace. The royal family was drastically trimmed and reduced to a nucleus formed by Kings, princes of Asturias and ir daughters. The Infantas were left out. Doña Cristina was not even expected. Doña Elena was collateral victim.

The sanitary cordon around exdukes of Palma had fissures. Queen Sofia did not hide when she traveled to Washington or Geneva to see m. Cristina visited her convalescent far in hospital for some of her operations and also attended family funerals, but never to official acts

In end, only succession to front of crown, in June 2014, allowed to definitively release moorings. The Nóos case was not cause of abdication of Juan Carlos I, but it did open a crisis in institution that would culminate with resignation of its owner.

The most painful decision of Philip VI

In June 2015 Philip VI made most painful decision of his first year of reign: to deprive his sister Cristina and her husband of Duchy of Palma, which had been awarded to him by Juan Carlos I on occasion of his wedding, in 1997. The decision to withdraw title to Urdangarin marriage (a way of declaring that it is not worthy to flaunt it) adopted it after three years of pressure to renounce its rights dynastic to throne of Spain, both for her and for her descendants; Something that, unlike title, no one can remove you if she does not accept it voluntarily.

But Felipe VI not only wanted to raise a firewall with case Nóos departing of his younger sister and his bror-in-law but, above all, imposing in Zarzuela a code of conduct exemplary away from any shadow of corruption. One of first measures he announced when he arrived at throne, in July 2014, was to prohibit members of royal family — Kings, ir parents and ir two daughters — to work for private companies, as did Infantas Cristina and Elena. They also forbade m to accept "gifts that for ir high economic value, purpose or commercial or advertising interest, or by very nature of gift, may compromise dignity of functions y have attributed." In addition, Felipe VI ordered that accounts of King's House (7.8 million euros in 2017) be submitted to an external audit by state's General intervention. The Zarzuela published for first time detailed information on its accounts in December 2011, when Urdangarin case erupted. And Real family doesn't just have to be honored. It must also look like it.


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