MADRID (AP) – Spain’s new King Felipe VI insisted in his first Christmas Eve speech Wednesday that seemingly endless examples of corruption across the country must be stamped out, not mentioning his indicted sister by name but stressing that public figures don’t have a right “to profit or become rich”.
The speech watched by millions on TV is the most important national address by Spanish kings, and Felipe gave it after his father Juan Carlos abdicated in June – putting his own stamp on the monarchy.
Felipe told Spaniards they should take heart that some accused of “ir-regular conduct” are being held accountable in legal proceedings riveting and outraging many.
“There must not be favoured treatment for those occupying a position of public responsibility,” Felipe said. “Public office must not be a means to pro-fit or become rich.”
Although the king did not mention his sister by name, Fernando Rayon, an author and royal watcher, said there was no doubt she was referred to.
“It is understood that, logically, his sister and brother-in-law are included in the references to corruption,” said Rayon.
Just two days before Felipe spoke, his sister Princess Cristina was indicted on two counts of tax fraud that could land her in prison for up to eight years, if she is convicted in an alleged scheme that funded a lavish lifestyle for her and her husband at their Barcelona mansion.