Over half of’people in Spain want King Juan Carlos to return home from his self-imposed exile, according to a new poll for a newspaper.
The NC Report survey for La Razon showed that 57% of those asked believe the former monarch should come back to Spain, a year after he left.
Juan Carlos announced he was quitting Spain on August 3rd 2020 in a brief letter to his son and successor, King Felipe VI. He said he was leaving to allow Felipe to continue with his role in peace as he was aware of ”the public repercussions that certain past events in my private life are generating”. It was a veiled reference to the ongoing allegations of financial impropriety which had even led to some politicians calling for him to leave the country he ruled for almost forty years.
This new poll also found that 49.5% of people didn’t think the ongoing situation had caused long term damage to the monarchy. However, 42% did think it had been detrimental.
Juan Carlos became King of Spain in November 1975 on the death of the fascist dictator, Francisco Franco, and is widely credited with helping to bring his country to democracy. For many years he was a popular monarch with high approval ratings. However, allegations about his finances followed him in the last years of his reign. He abdicated on June 19th 2014 in favour of his only son, Felipe VI, but corruption claims have continued since. Felipe renounced his personal inheritance from his father in March 2020.
The same poll for La Razon found a large majority regard the King Emeritus with some positivity. The survey showed 73% believe he had been a ”fundamental” figure in democracy in the country.