Spain’s King Emeritus Juan Carlos, who fled the country after being accused of money laundering and corruption, has sealed a deal with the royal house and the Spanish government to return to Spain in February, according to the Spanish media.
The former king’s return comes after all accusations against him were suspiciously and suddenly withdrawn by Spanish and Swiss justice. It means he will have total freedom and impunity from those charges in Spanish territory. His return is expected to be discreet in order to avoid the social unrest that has been mounting over the years as the monarchy have been involved in several cases of corruption over the last decade.
King Felipe, who already has an authoritarian image after endorsing repression against national minorities and more precisely Catalonia, is expected to keep distant from his father in an initial attempt to improve his image and avoid social tensions against him. However, he has authorized his father’s return to Spain. This is likely going to cause more social unrest over the next few months.
Whether or not social unrest is avoidable or will grow over the next few months remains a mystery. But what is clear is that the only possible solution for the citizens to recover trust in democracy and institutions is to have a say in the future of the monarchy.
As the monarchy was imposed by a dictator, a referendum would give the citizens a chance to freely decide whether to support the current monarchy or to turn a new page and implement a republic that could represent all citizens.