King Juan Carlos is now less popular among his subjects than Spain’s tax inspectors, according to a poll in El Pais.
The King’s standing has plummeted as his family has been drawn into a corruption and money-laundering scandal linked to his son-in-law, the Duke of Palma, yet the survey was conducted before his youngest daughter, Cristina, received a court summons last week in connection with the case.
The Metroscopia poll gives the King a first-time “fail” grade, awarded when the sum of disapproval votes is greater than those in favour. His total of minus 2 per cent is 13 percentage points lower than tax inspectors. It is also lower than his total during the scandal last year, when he had to apologize for going on a luxury safari trip in Africa as Spain battled its worst economic crisis in half a century.
Once considered Europe’s most popular Royal Family, anti-monarchist sentiment has being growing fast in Spain. It is particularly strong among younger voters, suffering from 55 per cent youth unemployment, and for whom the King’s important role in the country’s transition to democracy in the 1970s has little significance.
Instead, months of lurid headlines about Princess Cristina’s husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, over alleged siphoning off of millions of euros of public money to his supposedly not-for-profit organisation, Nóos, have had greater impact.