Spain's royalty forced to cut back
THE Spanish monarchy is to cut its budget for the first time in history as part of nationwide austerity measures that will see it become the cheapest royal household in Europe.
The king and queen will be tightening their belts alongside the rest of the nation as Spain struggles to reduce a bloated budget deficit and emerge from nearly two years of recession.
The Zarzuela Palace announced yesterday that the household budget for 2011 would be significantly reduced from this year but the exact figures would not be unveiled until later this month when they would be presented to parliament for approval.
Reports suggested that the budget could be slashed by up to 9pc, reducing funds available to the king by as much as €800,000, making him the least expensive monarch in Europe.
This year the budget was frozen at the 2009 level of €8.9m, a figure well below that of Britain's royal family, which cost the taxpayer £38.2m (€46m) in the last financial year.
A comparative study of expenditure by Europe's constitutional monarchies puts the Windsors at the top of the list.
With the proposed cuts, Spain's royal family would have a budget of €8.2m -- less than the Luxembourg monarchy, which last year spent €8.6m.
This August, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia shortened their annual holiday at their summer palace on Majorca, spent less time sailing on the royal yacht Fortuna, and entertained fewer guests.
Last year, Queen Sofia shocked royal watchers when she chose to fly with the low-cost airline Ryanair to visit her brother Constantine, the former King of Greece. The flight from the northern Spanish city of Santander to London Stansted cost only €16. (© Daily Telegraph, London)