Spain’s former king Juan Carlos is in the UAE, palace confirms

Europe Update

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Former monarch Juan Carlos I of Spain has been in the United Arab Emirates since he left his country amid a growing financial scandal, the Spanish royal household said Monday, resolving a two-week mystery and reining in speculation over the ex-king's whereabouts.

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The Spanish government and Royal House officials have been tight-lipped about Juan Carlos' location since Aug. 3, when he published a letter to his son, King Felipe VI, that said he was moving outside Spain due to the “public repercussions of certain episodes of my past private life.”

At 82, the former king is the target of official investigations in Spain and Switzerland into possible financial wrongdoing.

Conservative Spanish newspaper ABC had published a photo of Juan Carlos stepping out of a plane at an airport in Abu Dhabi. But without any official confirmation, Spanish media had placed him in places as far afield as the Dominican Republic, Portugal, Switzerland or New Zealand.

Ending the swirl of speculation, a Royal House spokesman said Monday that Juan Carlos had asked to convey that he had traveled to UAE on Aug. 3.

"That's where he currently remains,” the official, who wasnt authorized to be quoted in media reports, told The Associated Press.

The spokesman declined to say if the UAE, a federation of seven sheikdoms on the Arabian Peninsula, would be Juan Carlos' permanent residence.

UAE authorities have not responded to repeated questions regarding Juan Carlos stay in the country.

Juan Carlos facilitated Spain's transition to democratic rule in the 1970's, when the heir of the Bourbon dynasty replaced former Gen. Francisco Franco as the country's head of state. He reigned for nearly four decades while Spain modernized and joined the European Union.

But criticism grew as his luxurious life and corruption scandals tarnishing members of the royal family offered a striking contrast with the suffering of Spaniards during the global financial crisis.

In 2014, Juan Carlos abdicated the throne that then went to Felipe, who has taken steps to shield the monarchy from the scandals.

Felipe VI has not publicly spoken about his father's departure earlier this month. On Monday, he and Queen Letizia were scheduled to pay a visit to the Mediterranean island of Ibiza. The royal couple and their two daRead More – Source