The Deputy Prime Minister of the Spanish Government Carmen Calvo has told the Royal Household that “As long as we govern, Don Juan Carlos will not return to Spain.”
Calvo made the statement at the end of July and before the astonished gaze of the head of the House of His Majesty the King, Jaime Alfonsín.
The statement, in fact, has laid bare Moncloa’s strategy. A strategy that has been maintained for almost five months, applying pressure on Zarzuela so that Juan Carlos would leave Spain and not return.
The plan, made prior to his recent tax payment of €650k, was always to completely remove the title of ‘emeritus’ from the former king. And the plan has recently been reinforced with statements indicating that Moncloa does not want the king’s father to return to Spain at Christmas in order that it can protect the Monarchy.
It would seem that the true intention of the Government was the departure of Juan Carlos from Spain with their long term aim being that he remains overseas in order to any avoid extra tensions for the PSOE that his return would inevitably bring.
The statement by the Deputy PM did not come out of nowhere. Between February and 3 August, when Juan Carlos finally agreed to leave Spain, there were several meetings between Calvo and Alfonsín, with her applying constant pressure for the emeritus to leave the country.
“We cannot go on like this. Don Juan Carlos has to leave Spain”. That phrase was regularly repeated by Calvo to the head of the Royal Household. But as often as it was repeated it was always answered with a vigorous ‘no’. But Moncloa insisted. And the pressure grew as the news emerged of the meetings and the negative stories of the former king were splashed on a daily basis across the national press.
Many of the phrases that were later used by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez were first heard at around that time. “The King must distance himself from Don Juan Carlos,” Calvo said at the time, the same phrase accredited to Sánchez on August 4, a day after the emeritus ‘departure from Spain.
After the former king did leave Spain there was a curious thankyou from the Prime Minister to King Felipe, “for distancing himself.”
But now, given the evidence of the desire of the Emeritus King to return to Spain at Christmas, now that the necessary documentation and outstanding payment has been presented to the Tax Agency, talks have once again been opened between Moncloa and Zarzuela.
However, none of the government institutions currently consider it appropriate for the former king to return to the national territory until such time as all fiscal matters are regularised and should there be any indication of him doing so you can be absolutely assured that there will be an immense open debate within the Government which may not be favourable to the monarchical institution.